On Sunday October 1st, as we look ahead to a new week and indeed a new month, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you a poem by Robert Frost, which has long been among my favourites;
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 I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The four stanzas split public opinion. Some people understand this poem to be praising free thought and recommending that we don’t follow the crowd. Or, simply, don’t follow the much- trodden path. For others, including myself, this poem tells the story of a man who is plagued by indecision. He wastes a large amount of time and energy in making a choice, only to reflect on the attractive alternative which he decided against.
The message here is that whatever choices you may make, there will always be a part of you which wonders what if. No choice is perfect, and you will always ponder what could have been if you had chosen differently. So, when faced with a choice, weigh up your options, then be bold and make a decision. If it doesn’t work out, rather than regret the choice you made, look for any lessons which can be learned from the experience. Then get up and go again.
Wishing you all a very happy and productive week and month ahead.