A Single Step


Not right now, I think to myself as I lay under my warm comforter. I lazily search for my cell phone, which normally finds itself under my body while I sleep. There it is. I press the home button to illuminate the screen. 5:27 am sits on top of a picture of my son and me, both smiling. I smile when I see it. I love that kid. The bright light from the phone triggers my brain’s activity and suddenly I am inundated with the numerous tasks I must accomplish for the day. The main one is laundry. I prefer to go to the laundry room at odd hours so I can use as many of the washers and dryers as I need without waiting. I begrudgingly pull the warmth off my body, and then stop moving. I do not want to separate clothes, pile them into my laundry cart, and then make my way downstairs. Nope. All I want to do is sleep or nap or whatever involves my pillow, my comforter, and little to no movement.

Then I start to think about the other people in my building who did not wash their clothes over the weekend and are planning on doing so during their day off and the subsequent long lines. I have to get up now. I do not want an hour activity to suddenly become a multi-hour, oh-that-washer-is-now-available-but-still-no-available-dryer extravaganza. Yeah, I need to get up.

Nope. Still no movement.

After a few minutes of a mental-physical standstill, I start to reach for the comforter in order to immerse myself in the warmth that I have deprived my wary body of for a couple of minutes. Surprisingly, the following Chinese proverb shimmies to the front of my mind: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Well played, conscious. Touché. I have to get up now. There is no way that I can stay in my bed with such a meaningful and inspirational quote tap dancing all over my motivation.


I pull the covers over my tired body and try with all my might to go back to sleep. I eventually do for a couple more hours, but that proverb lingers.

Today, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man who pushed America along a painful journey of racial equality and equity. He took a single step everytime he marched, preached, and wrote in favor of racial justice. His journey, our journey, is still incomplete no matter how much the media wants to lie and say his dream was realized. Thus, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever predicament you may find yourself, however you are feeling about accomplishing a task, a goal, a dream, please remember that it requires a single step.


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