Choosing a Path: Why I Believe the Things I Do

Robert Frost published these words in 1916;

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;

And the poem concluded with this stanza;

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.

We all face choices in our lives. For some, the path is chosen for them. For others, the path is clouded and obstructed from view. For a few, the path seems clear, smooth, and well-marked.

I’ve been on them all.

I think the naiveté of youth often colors our view with optimism, allowing us to go blindly down a path that seems comfortable and familiar. For many, this works well. Some never look back.

I have learned that to travel well in this life, sometimes a path is the right choice and sometimes it is necessary to blaze a new one.

My path of beliefs was set early by virtue of geography. Whenever I discuss religious beliefs with anyone I often point out that their faith is as much a product of accident of birth as it is sincerity of belief.

Christians are born into Christian families, instructed in the tenets of the faith, and expected to promulgate the tradition into the next generation. Some compare this transfer of faith to a virus. The course follows a similar mechanism for propagation of the pathogens. Some of my family and friends would take offense at this comparison.

They draw the inference that I see religion as something that makes one ill since that is what a virus does. I am merely pointing out the similarity in the method of continuity. The decision as to whether the “faith” is beneficial or detrimental is a personal matter.

It was in thinking of these things that I chose my path.

Therein lies the difference between myself and those that adhere to some form of faith. I chose a path which questions everything. I want to know more than who or where or when things happen.

I want to know how and, most importantly, why.

So I have taken the road less traveled.

Has it made all the difference? That remains to be seen.

It has opened me to the infinite possibilities of the universe. For me, knowing something isn’t the pinnacle or the mark of success. For me, it is continually wanting to learn something new. To be willing to follow a path and sometimes leave it.

I have learned it is not the destination but the journey that matters. It is seeking answers in a lightly travelled path, or blazing your own.

Life is preparing for the ultimate test, death. The more one seeks to understand, the better prepared one will be when they face the final question.



About Joe Broadmeadow

Joe Broadmeadow retired with the rank of Captain from the East Providence Police Department after serving for 20 years. He is the author of four novels Collision Course, Silenced Justice, Saving the Last Dragon, and A Change of Hate available on Amazon in print and Kindle. Joe is working on the latest in a series of Josh Williams and Harrison "Hawk" Bennett novels and a sequel to Saving the Last Dragon. In 2014 Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
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