In Netflix‘s series Orange is the New Black (I love this show); prison inmate Piper explains that in Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken he actually points out that the roads are basically the same. It’s only later in life that he tells people that one was less traveled trying to impress them with his courage.
I think the poem still provides inspiration for us to proactively examine the options we have before us and summon the courage to follow a path that is perhaps not as easy or well worn. None of the paths are a ‘wrong’ choice or a ‘better’ option but we should dare to explore the road less traveled following our inner wisdom so that we may improve our lives even if that does not align with the American dream.
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
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.
So, how does the poem resonate with you? For me it means…
- having the courage to be bold, daring, and explore more
- not selling out on your dreams to make others happy or fit a pre-determined path
- making tough choices that yield better results in the long-term vs short-term satisfaction
- following your inner voice and pursue the road that gives you the most joy and happiness
- that true freedom comes from navigating your own path
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