Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Roads Less Traveled

In the coarse of my life some people have strongly told me to “never look back”. I understand why they say that. The past is past and you can’t re-live it. However, I basically disagree with this point of view. I think it’s a good thing to sometimes look back, not with regret or longing, but in order to remember. Sometimes you have to look back to figure out how you got where you are and why you are there. Maybe there were times in our lives when we turned left and it took us down a particular path. If we had turned right we would have ended us in a different place. Depending on the paths we choose we encountered people who impacted our lives in positive and negative ways. The early experiences of our lives may have set us on paths that brought us where we are today. What were the experiences that guided your choices? Perhaps you are feeling a little burned out or unfulfilled in your present circumstances. Looking back may remind you why you made the choices you made, why you fell in love with a certain person or why you were passionate about a particular cause. I think it is inevitable that as you get older you may feel a little weary on the journey of life, especially if you’ve been faithful for many years to people, commitments, and your work. We all run out of gas sometimes. Looking back can remind us, and re-energize us, about why we made the choices we did, why we choose the people in our lives, and why we walk the path we do. The following poem by Robert Frost says a lot to me about all of this.

The Road Less Traveled

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 marked 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 I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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