In Robert Frost’s poignant poem “The Road Not Taken” he ends with the famous lines:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
There are many interpretations of what the road less traveled is. It can be a career choice, a romantic choice or a series of choices that lead to a positive result. However, as we approach the new year and are thinking about resolutions and goals, I would like to suggest that we look at the road less traveled as a whole mind-set or attitude of looking for the good.
In every relationship and in every person, we can choose to notice and focus on faults and short-comings. We all have them. Every relationship has them. They are easy to find and plenty to go around. We certainly can choose to take this “road”. However, we need to realize that by choosing this “road” of focusing on faults, it will make “all the difference” in the quality of our relationships.
Now, of course, there are some “faults”, such as blatant abuse of any kind, that certainly need to be addressed and should not be ignored. However, there are also a multitude of other “faults” that may not only be deteriorating to our relationships if we allow ourselves to dwell on them, but may also block our view from seeing the good that is also in every person and every relationship.
The reality is none of us, or our relationships, are completely perfect or completely awful. We are a mixture of good and bad, strengths and weaknesses.
Just as we can choose the “road” of focusing on faults, we can also choose the “road less traveled”, the “road” of looking for the good, of accentuating the positive, of strengthening our relationships. That road, though less traveled, is just as real and just as possible for us to take. And choosing to take it will make “all the difference” in the quality of our relationships.