I recently finished reading, On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation, by Alexandra Horowitz. The book is centered on Alexandra taking walks with experts in different fields. She walks with a sound designer for theater, a senior scientist for the Humane Society, and many other experts that teach her (and us, the readers) about the world around her through their perspectives. It is a fascinating read. One chapter, no, one anecdote really got me thinking about the power of taking one step. And how that changes things.
As shared on page 44:
Together we climbed up a few marble steps out of the museum. Each step was irregularly concave, worn down by the foot falls of countless visitors ascending, and rounded at their leading corners, from countless descents. This erosion is petrified human activity. Each of those steppers toed the marble and push seventeen (or so) of its molecules forward, or to the side. After millions of steps these gentle shovings change the shape of the rock from tabletop flat to soft undulance.
Below is a picture from a gazebo on the Hastings Campus of CCC.
In the picture you can see the effects of the steps people have taken on the paint and the wood. You can see how the wood has also been worn down by each step over the years.
The marble steps, from the book, and the wooden steps, from the picture, show how a collection of single steps can affect our world. It is a circular idea. A single step doesn’t seem to make much difference. It takes a lot of steps to create enough force to change something (marble stairs), but that doesn’t happen without a single step.
Change can’t happen without you taking the first step. You won’t see the effects of that change until you have taken a lot of steps, then all of a sudden there it is. There was no single step that made the change in the marble or wooden steps, but without all those steps the stairs wouldn’t be affected.
So, if you want to make a difference in your life. If you want to change something, all it takes is a step, then another step, then another step… until the effects of those steps change your life.
The next post will look at how belief is an important part of change.