The Road Not Taken

A/N: There was some problem with the system and this post ended up not published.

There was once this poem titled exactly as the above (I am sure Malaysian students would recall). It is about the choices the poet has made in life, and in the poem, he reminisces on what would have happened had he made a different choice in life. Although the poem eventually has a happy ending – in which the poet is satisfied with his choice, it does pose the question that most of us ask at some point or another in our lives. What would have happened had I chose differently?

The problem is simple; the answer is not. Like in the multiverse theory, there could be infinite possibilities that could have occured had we chosen differently in that situation. Some of us may lament opportunities long lost; but the fact that we have chosen differently alone, could have probably affected the outcome of the oppotunity itself. Or, perhaps I am just consoling myself in this matter. However, it doesn’t make the logic in the above statement any less true – although I do admit that the scenario above is highly unlikely.

Men have wasted away regretting the past and dreaming of the future. Although retrospection and planning is a good thing, we must also come to the conclusion that we live in the present and not just ignore the fact. And the fact is, none of us can change the past or predict the future. It is in this view that I find the poet’s retrospection through ‘The Road Not Taken’ not only futile, but depressing. After all, it is not too hard to paint a picture of success had we taken a different choice; nor is it too hard to lament a vision of despair.

While retrospection is not completely without use (we could sometimes learn a thing or two from our past mistakes – on the other hand, humans never learn, as history has proven), it is very much unhealthy for us to allow retrospection to take control of our life. The same goes for planning for the future, really. As beings in the present (a fact which will not change any time soon), we should cherish the present, and leave past graves unmarked and chart (not obsessively) our future.

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1 Comment »

  1. Ah-Sum said

    Imo, another dimension(s) is born when a decision is to be made. Heh… kidding. Dude, you got tagged.

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