The Road Not Taken

I have always loved this poem. I think it illustrates so well the way our lives diverge and how we will never know what lies at the end of the path, we just have to choose and make the best of it. There is no point taking one path and worrying that the other path might have been better… there will be other branches and other choices… make the most of the journey.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iā€”
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost (1874ā€“1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

I guess, I got philosophical after a conversation with a friend yesterday, when we discussed the merits and pitfalls of religion and the way it makes people act.

It does a fantastic job of offering an explanation for something the human mind may never be able to grasp and gives hope to many. It brings people together and fosters community. Every group of people throughout the ages has had some form of religious belief and it has served well to organize society…. for better or for worse (not a big believer in human sacrifices etc.).

Sadly it is probably also the most divisive force in human history. All the “Holy wars” involving the Jews, Christians and Muslims involve the very same God. Why not just get on with believing what you believe. When you go to meet the maker and you chose the right path brilliant for you. You can smugly enjoy your schadenfreude at those that got it wrong. If you get reincarnated, I guess you’ll do it all again and if you get enlightened, bully for you.

Happiness comes from within, and people who think they will find happiness from interfering with or destroying other peoples lives are doomed to be unhappy. Lets face it, they will always find someone else to blame for their unhappiness.

Chose your paths and enjoy your walk. If someone decides to share your path, either enjoy their company or speed up or slow down and give yourself some space, don’t push them into the bushes. After all, you don’t own the path you are only a visitor.

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