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 Road Not Taken
From the moment the alarm clock rings, the decisions start – get up or sleep in, decaf or regular, eggs or cereal, casual or dress, CNN or Fox News, and so the decisions go all day long.
Sometimes, the deciding moment has a person in it. And sometimes it’s a person with a need.
It goes something like this: “He was sitting there all alone, and I had no idea what he would think about my approaching him, but something kept pushing me to walk over and say hello…”
In that moment, there is a decision to make – which road? The road of indifference beckons. I get it. I’ve been down that road. It’s well traveled.
But we have been given the gift of a choice.
What would happen if we pick a road that takes us to a place we haven’t been before, like maybe…the walk in someone else’s shoes? What awaits on the road that brings us to reach out a hand, or to offer a hug, or a cup of coffee, or friendly conversation? Would that road lead to a community meal, or a homeless camp, or a child on the street? To a new friend? The catch is, the road less traveled can’t be navigated ahead of time. There is only one way to find where that road leads – follow.
In The Road Not Taken, Frost doesn’t fill us in on the outcome. He only reminds us that there will be a time, sometime in the future, when we will look back on this decision. Hopefully, we will look back in the company of a new friend, and smile.
The road less traveled is the walk in someone else’s shoes. Taking that road makes all the difference.