It is not the first steps but the last ones that are most difficult. – Jean-Francois Steiner, Treblinka
Treblinka is a book about the concentration camp in Poland, a novel based on testimony of those who were there. It’s been many years since I’ve read it and, frankly, I didn’t reread it for today’s entry, however I do recall this quote coming when various prisoners were close to pulling the trigger on an escape attempt. The final steps, actually executing the plan after months of agony and planning, was proving difficult.
As they often are in life.
Some say making the decision to do something and actually getting started is the toughest part of any endeavor. Certainly getting started is tough. The fear of the unknown and the comfort of the familiar are often difficult obstacles to surmount. We speak from experience here. We have tried many things in this life and oftentimes setting foot on the road was the biggest hurdle. The point has merit.
I think Steiner makes a better point, though.
One, goals generally do not happen overnight, and after some effort it is common to realize your goals are going to take some time, maybe more time than you thought or allocated. The decision to press on, the commitment to the final steps, is sometimes the most difficult part of the journey.
This quote is also applicable this election season. Americans, as they should, continue to be dissatisfied and disillusioned with their government. We have not been able to take the final step, however. We complain and we march and we occupy, but the status quo has proven to be a habit that is awfully hard to break.
We have taken the first, tentative steps, however. Both Democrats and Republicans are so frustrated they have men out of the mainstream setting the pace in their presidential candidate process though, of course, it is early yet. And there are the usual third party misfits looking to make noise this election season,
But no Republican or Democrat will take the final step, of course . If they were going to make the changes this country needs they would have done so already.
We must take the final steps ourselves. No one is going to do it for us; is up to concerned and conscientious citizens – you and me, we the people – to take that step, but we can do it. The government we want is never farther away than the next election.