“A tree as great as a man’s embrace springs from a small shoot;
A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth;
A journey of a thousand miles starts under one’s feet.”
Perhaps you’ve heard it as “a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”, or in some other variant. But in any case I think if we can open ears our ears a little we will recognize that it is potentially much more than a pithy banality.
The final part of our principle says: “If you repeat your acts of internal unity, nothing can detain you.” The second quotation is from chapter 59 of the same work. It has been translated in many ways. It complements this month’s principle wonderfully.
“Caring for others and serving heaven depends on repeated accumulation.
With virtue accumulated all obstacles can be overcome..
Having overcome all obstacles there are no limits.
Knowing the absence of limits, one is fit to rule.
This is like a plant that has deep roots and a firm stalk.
The way of long life and eternal vision.”