First Steps

I just watched my daughter take her first steps. So unexpected and unassuming. To her it wasn't a monumental achievement, but rather just the next step. It wasn't a climactic event that she worked up to but rather something that she 'just did' when she was ready. What monumental achievements am I already prepared for but holding myself back from 'just doing'?

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  1. Great insight, Raam. A possible way to answer this question is to ask a different one: “What am I most afraid of doing right now?” Very often, what we least want to do is what we most need to do. Ignoring our fears and “just doing” it might lead to a “monumental achievement.”

    I love your writing. Thanks for doing what you do.

    • Thank you, Yan. 🙂

      I find that knowing what I’m afraid of is far more difficult than figuring out what step or leap I’m holding myself back from taking. After all, don’t we need to figure out what step we’re subconsciously avoiding before we can recognize any fears we may have associated with that step?

      When I saw Ananda take her first steps without making a big deal about it, just doing it because she was ready and that was the next step in her growth, made me realize that I too have many ‘next steps’ that I’m simply not even facing because I haven’t accepted that I’m ready to face them.

  2. Raam, The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I hope your daughters life journey is as amazing as her first step. If we were all child-like, we’d be just like your daughter…taking that first step even though we don’t know where life is taking us and we don’t have full control. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful milestone with your friends. John

  3. Ananda took her first steps, but she doesn’t know how lucky she is to be able to take her first steps. Most disabled children don’t get to take those steps.

    She’ll only be able to realize this when she’ll see disabled children later in life.

    This made me realize: I’m also probably lucky on so many levels from my fellow humans, but I never know how much lucky I am, just like how Ananda doesn’t know how lucky she is to take her first steps.

    Just thinking about this, I’m feeling so happy that I’m alive right now. I can breathe, I can see, I can hear, I can taste, I can walk, I can run, I can jump, I can feel, I can ……………. Being alive is actually pretty cool.

    And still, on how many level am I lucky, and I don’t realize?

    • Manish, that’s such a powerful thought. I often try to remind myself just how lucky I am. Often it will be something small that I observe–a person in a wheelchair, a blind person, a photo of shelling in Gaza, etc.–that causes me to remember just how lucky I am to have a working body, relatively clean air to breathe, a safe environment, etc. There is _so much_ for me to be lucky for!

      Teaching Ananda that perspective–making sure that she understands just how fortunate she is–will be a primary goal of mine in raising her. In modern societies it’s so easy to forget that not everyone has the luxuries that we have. I’m incredibly fortunate to have _access_ to a computer, with Internet, and to be able to communicate with English!

  4. This is a lovely thoughts, both the fact that it is personal, and you reveal something of yourself, and also because we do build up certain stages in life as being something big, momentous, and yet it is just part of the journey.