Historically uneven steps provide perspective

signWhen entering the state capitol building on the first floor one of the first things you see is a sign that reads: “PLEASE WATCH YOUR STEP — HISTORICAL STEPS UNEVEN.” It’s a friendly warning to prevent people from falling down or up the stairs. But I always misread these signs as “HISTORICALLY UNEVEN STEPS.” No longer a friendly warning, but, for me, a friendly reminder.

I prefer my misreading to the actual sign because I think it provides an important reminder about how progress has occurred historically: unevenly. In jumps and starts and over a long period of time. As Martin Luther King, Jr. was fond of saying: “The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”


I often feel like I’m tilting at windmills, especially during the legislative session. Being progressive isn’t always easy in Utah, but every morning the capitol steps remind me that the historical record favors progressive change. It may happen slowly, but it happens surely.


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