I shall be telling this with a sigh, Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
- from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
We all make choices in life. The decisions we make are usually based on our best judgment of probable outcomes. We can never fully know where those choices will lead. We can only hope that they will lead in the direction of goals we all share: of happiness, health and a satisfying life. Robert Frost’s poem is about one who looks back at a choice made between two paths. It is a beautiful illustration in its simplicity and reflection.
As we get older, I think, we consider choices we’ve made and the consequences of those choices over time. We can’t help wondering what might have happened had we chosen differently. How many of us can truly say, given the same circumstances all over again, we’d do things differently?
Still we know in our heart of hearts that it isn’t all about the decisions we make alone. So much of what happens is a result so many complex factors beyond our control. Ultimately we may recognize that there is a higher power and, with faith, we accept that we must do the best we can with the blessings we are given and meet the challenges as they come.
It seems that many people today are faced with incredibly difficult choices. Decisions that may have an impact on family, friends, communities and perhaps the whole world. Those of us lucky enough to reflect on the road not taken should remember how critical those crossroads can be in the life of a single person.
Wisdom is a remarkable thing. Share it and you may one day be a person upon whose influence one reflects. And you will have made all the difference. Isn’t that something? You will have made all the difference!
- Optimist Contributor Wes Morgan: orignally posted Nobember 17, 2010