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.

Recent entries:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/22)
“‘A fraction of the cost’ is misleading as hypothetically, something could be 3/2 of the cost” (9/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/22)
“The high-jump event is basically reverse limbo” (9/22)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from January 01, 2013
“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way a person uses them”

Several books in the 19th century recognized that metaphorical “stumbling blocks” could be made into “stepping stones.” Stumbling-blocks Made Stepping-stones on the Road to the Catholic Faith (1880) was the title of a book. “To know how to wring victory from our defeats, and make stepping-stones of our stumbling-blocks, is the secret of success” was cited in a 1896 book.

“The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is in the way you use them” is a line from the column “Smile-A-While with Tom Sims” that was published in many newspapers in January and February 1922. The saying has been printed in many newspapers, magazines and books, usually without credit to any source.


OCLC WorldCat record
Stumbling-blocks made stepping-stones on the road to the Catholic Faith.
Author: James J Moriarity
Publisher: New York : The Catholic Publication Society, 1880.
Edition/Format: Book : English

Google Books
Pushing to the Front: Or Success Under Difficulties
By Orison Swett Marden
Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin and Company
1896
Pg. 314:
To know how to wring victory from our defeats, and make stepping-stones of our stumbling-blocks, is the secret of success.

31 January 1922, Sandusky (OH) Star-Journal,"Smile a While” with Tom Sims, pg. 12, col. 3:
The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is in the way you use them.

Google News Archive
6 February 1922, The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, FL), “Smile a While” with Tom Sims, pg. 2, col. 4:
The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way you use them.

Google Books
December 1939, Boys’ Life, pg. 24:
Let’s look ahead to 1940, and in an effort to get the most out of our opportunities, make this the thought of the month:

“The difference between stepping stones and stumbling blocks is all in the way you use them.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Stumbling blocks or stepping stones : spiritual answers to psychological questions
Author: Benedict J Groeschel
Publisher: New York : Paulist Press, ©1987.
Edition/Format: Book : English

Google Books
A Dictionary of American Proverbs
Edited by Wolfgang Mieder, Stewart A. Kingsbury and Kelsie B. Harder
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1991
Pg. 22:
The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping-stones is the way you use them. Rec. dist.: Ont., Wis.

Google Books
Treasury of Spiritual Wisdom:
A Collection of 10,000 Inspirational Quotations

By Andy Zubko
San Diego, CA: Blue Dove Press
1998
Pg. 12:
About the only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way you use them.... — Bernard Meltzer

OCLC WorldCat record
Wise women speak : 20 ways to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones
Author: Fern Carness
Publisher: Lake Oswego, Ore. : Carness Health Management, ©2001.
Edition/Format: Book : Biography : English

Google Books
Evaluation of Peer and Prevention Programs:
A Blueprint for Successful Design and Implementation

By David R. R. Black, Elizabeth S. S. Foster and Judith A. A. Tindall
New York, NY: Routledge
2012
Pg. 193:
The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way a person uses them. —Unknown.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Tuesday, January 01, 2013 • Permalink