Someone today asked me “Why was the step not taken?” And, it reminded me of the Robert Frost poem about the "road not taken." We’ve all read this in high school, but I had to read it again this morning.
Keeping the broader context about life's paths in mind, it really moved me. I had to sit back and think about the paths I've taken that led me to where I am now. I have to wonder what other steps I did take and the ones I should've taken.
By the way, it's important to remember that Robert Frost was American, and this is an extremely American attitude - to pioneer, try something adventurous and know there would be rewards for the hard work.
Quotes are so often plucked from poems and tossed around in commencement speeches, greeting cards and mugs. Sometimes we have to go back to its origin, see it within its place in the poem.
The Road Not Taken -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.