I’ve seen this jibberish pass through my facebook feed at least 29 times and every single time I angstily think to myself “Who posts this shit? What’s the purpose? What are you trying to convey? That you’re deep? That you yourself think like this? WHY ARE YOU POSTING THIS!?!”
These supposed words of wisdom are often incorrectly attributed to a wide variety of knowledgeable people: Bruce Lee, Buddha, Christopher Reeve, Confucius and Vanessa Carlton to fictional characters like Yoda and Morgan Freeman.
For the sake of accuracy it’s actually credited to Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher circa 1231. All I can say is that people must have been far easier to impress back then.
On the surface it does seem quite profound. If it happens to be incorrectly quoted by, or accompanied by the visage of, someone we as a society have deemed to be wise it only adds to the gravitas.
But imagine if these words had never been spoken before, never reposted and shared to death by people pretending to be deep on the internet, and one of your friends drunkenly utters it to you at a bar. What would your response be?
“No shit” or any derivative thereof would be pretty close in most cases. And absolutely justified. In reality saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is like saying “Mowing the lawn begins with starting the lawnmower” or “Washing the dishes begins with turning on the tap.”
True? Absolutely. Profound and worthy of reverence? I don’t think so.