I went back recently to visit an elementary school where I had taught many years ago. This school has a tradition that each pupil, before she or he graduates, designs an individual steppingstone. The design is then cut out in a block of wood. Concrete is poured onto the block, and when it dries, the stone is embedded in the school grounds for posterity.

I was impressed by the number of steppingstones that had been added in the central courtyard where the graduation ceremonies take place every year. It made me reflect on the steppingstones in my own life, the changes of career and relationships, the momentary questions of whether I had made the most of my opportunities. Probably most of us, in looking back, wonder if we have taken the right steps. Are there any sure steppingstones that can guide us through this swirl of fear and uncertainty that seems so characteristic of life?

April 22, 1991

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