The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, 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 I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Road not taken

Robert Frost’s narrative poem “The Road Not Taken” was first published in August 1915.
The well-known poem “The Road Not Taken” was written by the English author Robert Frost. As for me, an accurate translation of the title ought to be “lost paths.” The roads branching out in several directions, both physically and symbolically, are the primary focus of the poem, despite the fact that its interpretation is notoriously difficult and open to many readings.

If life is a trip, then the journey will often include taking several roads. Paths might be simple or complex, long or short, smooth or rocky and thorny, and straight or twisting. Sometimes they lead us to wealth and fame, as well as to obscurity and the loneliness that comes with it. There are roads that lead to joy, and there are other roads that lead to sadness. Long and straight ahead of us are roads that lead to victories as well as roads that lead to defeat and hopelessness. Which one will we take?

The path of life, just like any other road, is full of unexpected twists and turns, unexpected ups and downs, and unexpected forks in the route. At crossroads in life, we often experience feelings of being overburdened by our responsibilities and do not know which way to turn. What assurances do we have that the way forward, which we will pick based on the scant information we have about our own lives, will be the correct one?

There is a fork in the road in front of us, and we do not know where any of the three roads that branch out of it will take us. Only one route is known to us: the one we arrived on. a journey there and back again? In the course of one’s life, there is no going back. The life we live is like an ancient creek. Any streams of water or puddles that were there yesterday will be gone tomorrow, if not quickly.

The discussion then returns to the fork itself. There is no guarantee that the routes you and I choose from this road junction will take us anywhere specific. This ambiguity is the most fundamental thing to understand about the adventure, that is life. There is no assurance that this is the correct road, or that following a specific path will result in contentment and joy for those who choose to follow it. There is a great deal of unpredictability around all of life’s many activities. when even the love that you offer is misunderstood and not reciprocated. That is when you will finally comprehend what Nishkama Karma is all about.

Even if we rise through the ranks of promotion at the official level and achieve success, fame, and money, we may still be plagued with feelings of complacency no matter how high we climb. No matter how diligently we strive, the outcome may not be what we anticipate at all. This is something that we must accept. Both the capacity to make judgments and the adaptability to respond to challenging circumstances are under your control. If you do not go ahead or choose a course of action, you can assume that there is no risk involved. On the other hand, there is no time to rest or turn around when traveling the path of life. (like Lot’s wife in the Bible story). There is not a tier beyond the second heaven. (Thrisanku Svarga of Indian mythology)

The next step is to decide which direction to go. After you have made some progress down the route you have selected, you will have a better idea of whether or not it is the correct one. When we look back on our lives after a significant amount of time has passed, we may discover that many people around us believe and regret that the decisions we made were incorrect and that life would have been simpler and happier if we had chosen a different path. This can be a surprising discovery for us. Or we could feel bad about what we’ve done to ourselves.

Why not look at the opportunities we have in front of us as a challenge? We need to be able to leap for pleasure and feel a sense of accomplishment when we climb every hill and mountain that seems to be a barrier on our routes that are littered with stones and boulders.

Your life, like Frost’s, will take a different direction if you choose to go down the path less traveled.

“I will be recounting this with a sigh someday, years and centuries from now. There were two paths that split in a wood. And I—I went the route that was less frequented, and that decision has been the deciding factor in everything.

I may utter these words with a heavy sigh at some point in the far future, when many years and ages have passed. There were two paths through the autumn woodland. Because I was unable to go both ways, I spent a considerable amount of time there, all by myself and deep in meditation. I glanced in both directions until the road rounded that corner in the middle of a lush woodland. “The decision that was taken was what ultimately determined everything.”


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