A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 06, 2012
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance”

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is a Chinese proverb credited to philosopher Laozi (604 B.C.-531 B.C.). “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance” is a jocular anti-proverb that has been cited in print since at least 1997 and that has appeared on bumper stickers and on many lists of one-line sayings.


Wiktionary: a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
Etymology
From the quote by Chinese philosopher Laozi (c 604 bc - c 531 bc) in the Tao Te Ching, chapter 64.

This is the most common interpretation of this quote. Another translation from the original Chinese might be “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.” Rather than emphasizing the first step, Laozi may have regarded action as something that arises naturally from stillness. However, this interpretation of the quote takes “下 (down)” in the full quote “千里之行,始于足下” to mean “below”, so the last two words are interpreted as “beneath feet”. But reading the Chinese in this light is unnatural. “下” here should be taken as a verb, so a parsing of the full quote would be something like “thousand miles to be travelled, start with foot (placed) down”. This is also supported by Chinese proverb dictionaries.

Sometimes this quote is erroneously attributed to Laozi’s contemporary, the Chinese philosopher Confucius/Kongzi (c 551 bc - c 479 bc), founder of Confucianism.

Proverb
a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

1. even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point

[HUMOR] Dumb Quotes or Profound Wisdom?
Gordon Garb ()
06 Mar 97 10:43:35 -0800
*** DUMB QUOTES TO SOME—PROFOUND WISDOM FOR OTHERS *****
**A closed mouth gathers no feet.
** A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

Google Books
Dr. Speedy’s Jokes and Riddles
By Dr. Speedy Gonzalez (Higino Gonzalez)
Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc.
2000
Pg. 73:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.”

21 March 2001, Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), “Spotlite”:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.”

Google News Archive
2 April 2001, Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, pg. 3B, col. 2:
Bumper sticker of the week: A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Cash Advance.

26 February 2003, Plainview (TX) Daily Herald, “The T-shirt says it all”:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

30 May 2005, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Kinky goes out on a limb” by Alan Peppard:
“Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance,” Kinky says, having fun with the Chinese proverb.
(Texas humorist and author Kinky Friedman—ed.)

1 January 2006, Portales (NM) News-Tribune, “Re-evaluate life rules on New Year’s Day” by Bob Huber (humor columnist), pg. B1, col. 1:
A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a cash advance.

Google Books
Yippee!: Downloaded more humor from the Internet!
By Gloria F. Rodriguez
Quezon City: Giraffe Books
2008
Pg. 49:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Thursday, September 06, 2012 • Permalink