Taking the first step

Many people make some kind of New Year's resolution which is often broken within a few days and forgotten not long after. 

Hopefully, we can laugh a little at ourselves when this happens. It is silly to think we are going to change our character with a single decision. Human growth is made up of many small decisions. The commencement of the school year is an opportunity to set the academic goals for the year. Whilst these should be ambitious, the key to their success is in the planning, the many deliberate small steps along the journey.

Martin Luther King said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” It is good advice. Sometimes the journey ahead can feel so daunting and so implausible that we lack the courage to take the first step. Furthermore, there is never a shortage of good excuses: it is not the right time; the odds are stacked against me; or no one like me has ever done it before.

I am willing to bet that Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Everest, or even Thomas Edison, trying thousands and thousands of times to make the light bulb work, had a good list of excuses to tap out. I suspect all felt inadequate many times along their path. Many of us never find out what we are truly capable of because looking up at the mountain, before we even begin, looks too frightening. Just take the first step.

There is a poignant poem by Christopher Logue that I am often reminded of when people present their reasons for not embarking on a great adventure.

Come to the edge.

We might fall.

Come to the edge.

It’s too high!

Come to the edge!

And they came,

and we pushed,

and they flew.

We encourage our boys to take that first step off the edge and hopefully they too can fly in 2021. 

Matthew Hutchison