The Monday Memo
November 4, 2013 PITT DPT STUDENTS
“Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles……”
It is quite easy to get caught up in the struggles of being a student.
The exams, quizzes, assignments, and administrative tasks sometimes seem never-ending. One exam is completed, and studying for another begins, all the while we feel trapped in a mountain of textbooks, journal articles, and papers. We all know the feeling; as long as you are a student, you feel these perils and pressures. This difficulty can become so great that often we even forget what we are studying for, what our end goal even is.
As I toiled away over the past weeks on midterm exams, my father, ever the scholar, sent me this quote from Mao Te-Tsung:
“A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”
Now, I don’t know how weary you all are about taking advice from a ruthless Chinese socialist dictator, but the man makes a great point in this quote. Mao definitely had me thinking: we always remember the start, and we definitely remember the finish. But in that journey of 1000 miles that he speaks of, how many of those steps do we remember? How many are forgotten?
Once we take that very first step in our journey, quickly another comes; then another; and then yet another, until we reach our final destination. As students of physical therapy, we have seen the patient whose every single step is a miraculous wonder. Perseverance, hard work, and determination can bring each step to life. Within our rehabilitation programs, each step, however so tiny, is a piece of the puzzle that leads to a phenomenal end result.
We must not forget those small pieces; they are part of the fabric that makes the destination come to life.
We see it in our patients’ lives, and we see it in our own lives. Academics come with its own set of challenges and stresses, with seemingly no end in sight. But our journey of 1000 miles, spanning over our three years, has many unique and monumental steps in between. Our challenge comes in being proud of each step, all the while remembering the destination ahead.
We challenge our patients each day to do this, and now the challenge is upon us to do the same.
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