Every journey begins with a single step, A Chinese Saying it is. This journey had started three years before the year 2014 and this shows how the journey has been long and looking back, I would not believe I made that far. From the University of Nairobi in Kenya, my destination was Tianjin China where Chinese language postgraduate classes were waiting for me.
Chinese is one of the toughest languages to study, I knew that I was in for a lifetime challenge but I had this inner zeal that always whispered to me that I could do it better and was ready for it. My predecessors had gone through the same process and they were fluent in the language so all I knew the sky is the limit and I had to trust the process.
Looking back the four years, I can attest to the saying that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You take baby steps and slowly but surely grow limbs after which you spread your wings and fly having achieved the ultimate goal. I can attest to this because of all the people we moved with here for study purposes, Most of them have been able to achieve their dreams of speaking fluent Chinese and mine was better too.
Tianjin City in China has been my second home for the past four years. The city that I love and hate on the same scale. I have however been able to get the most out of the City with learning and meeting new people taking the centre stage.
The saying by the Chinese think tank and a philosopher Lao Tzu who unlike his counterpart Confucius had a different outlook and opinion about life and the behaviours of the people, he said,”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, which roughly translates to “Every Journey begins with a single step”, this is relevant to everyone who at some point begins something new. Comparatively, with other Ancient Chinese thinkers, Lao Tzu would use paradox, analogy, rhyme and rhythm, repetition and ancient sayings. Lao Tzu was refering to “1000 厘 li journey” li in this case is the chinese ancient measure of distance whic is equal to 360 miles.
We all start something new be it business, studies, a relationship or even some working out routine. All these new endeavours never kick off as smooth as we think but with the persistence and a grinding mentality. All is possible. My journey towards studying Chinese was the same too and so are other millions of students who have been through that. Talk of the HSK examinations, which are proficient examinations and a hard nut to crack for beginners and intermediate students.
It has been close to three years now and I have been able to learn most of the fundamentals of the Chinese Culture, Holidays and I am fluent in the language which is the best thing that ever happened to my life. I therefore concur with Lao Tzu in his school of thought.
Anyhow in anything you are about to start just trust the process and do it in a humble way possible.