Wednesday, July 06, 2005

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.
~Robert Frost

I keep this in my collection of favourite poems, along with Invictus (William Henley) and You'll be a Man, my Son (Kipling). A very, very long time ago, I had a discussion with someone dear about it. Perhaps this is not what the author had intended it to be, but I interpreted this as a poem of regret, or at the very least, of doubt. Of having chosen a path, but yet wondering, perhaps even regretting, if the path chosen was the better of the two.
There are times when I catch myself wondering that. Of choices I made in the past. You catch yourself wondering if those choices were for the better. And better for whom? I sometimes ask myself. Me, or the patients who will forget about me 6 months later? Better for the family I never see, especially when they are in need of healthcare, or the patient's family now that they get to have their dear old mom around for another 5 years?
I suppose it's pointless wondering. One would never know. All one can do is be thankful for what he has been blessed with. But it's human nature to wonder, no? And unfortunately, it's human nature as well to never learn from their mistakes.


Blogger chwee said...

As long as you are very vivid what you want in your life,just go for it! We are not doing something devilishly. I am sure that with the pure,good intention that have in the mind, God definately will bless you on the road that you are choosing!

1:26 AM  
Blogger PaulOS said...

Me thinks..we do learn from mistakes.. but sometimes we make the mistakes twice or more than that, then only we can learn from it. The idea is to not beat ourselves up because of it lar.

Anyways, wherever you are at bro, am sure from what I see and sense, you've not made the wrong choices in life.

3:23 AM  
Blogger vagus said...

Thanks Paul. Heh heh, nolar. Just had some things on my mind when I wrote that last nite, things that I had be vague about.
Life happens for a reason i guess.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Sabrina Tan said...

totally with you on that poem.
sometimes one wonders what is the motivation that we chose that road.
one also wonders why do we have to take this road.
all with the hope that we are making the right choice, and it would lead to a better ending at the end.
so just travel on..move on..carry on..
with the hope that God will show us what He has intended for us.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Groarbear said...

vagus.. actually the title of the poem by Rudyard Kipling is 'If'.. it is also probably one of my favourite poems.. however there are 2 lines which I have never fully understood.. "If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much.." Would you be kind enough to expound on it.. thanks!

10:57 PM  
Blogger vagus said...

hi groarbear. thnks for stopping by.
i guess how one interprets those lines depend on the individual. i read it as not letting unkind actions done by thoughtless people who don't mean much to us hurt us personally; to be objective and not be distracted by the less important things in life.
I don't take the part about friends to mean the same thing; people who become friends are inherently in a position to hurt unintentionally, and i don't think Kipling meant to say that we should be emotional robots and not be too close to friends. I kinda interpret the part about not letting loving friends hurt us to mean that we need to trust their motives, and forgive them is they inadvertently hurt us.
"if all men count with you, but none too much'... perhaps he means that we should not overly rely on anyone.
I might be way off base here, but that's how I read that poem.

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