Stone Pigs

undeniable underlying truths

The Road Not Taken

Posted By on April 13, 2020

First, let’s include that most famous of Robert Frost’s poems, “The Road Not Taken”

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.

I’ve never been a big consumer of poetry, but over the years, this one has resonated with me; it’s shaken me to my core. The common interpretation is that if one takes “the road less traveled” their life will be richer; full of color and texture, etc. The implication is that you will be changed by the road less traveled; you will have a better life if you go where others fear to tread.

I choose to take a different view; a different interpretation: it’s not you that is changed by the road, but the road that is changed by you. You should live your life such that each road that you travel down is improved by your passing; each person that you meet is improved by your greeting; the World is improved by your character.


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