by Frank Muller
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.
Small things. The road less travelled is the road of small things, of details, of little tasks done well for the sake of sanctifying life.
See a piece of litter, walk on or stop and pick it up? See a diner at a fast-food restaurant leave their table with the food and tray still there whilst the trash can sit’s idly by six feet away, clean it up or ignore it?
Why do today what I can blow off till tomorrow? Why accomplish a thing when I can get someone else to do it for me?
Why complain or gossip about others yet not examine our own lives and thoughts and motives which we know so well?
The road is less travelled is the road of small things. Every moment is an opportunity to do our duty to our Faith, our Family, our Employer, our Community and our Country. Each moment is a gut check to see if we will do the small thing even when no one is looking, and no one will ever know.
When we do the small things, relentlessly and tirelessly, then we make the world a better place and we strengthen ourselves. When we make interior resolutions so often times, we choose goals or outcomes instead of small things. This may be shortsighted.
When we simply set small steps and tasks we live in the moment. The first step to a life of small and successful steps is to get out of bed. Set our alarm to 6 am and just flat get up. We cannot take the road less travelled because we refuse to get up and get going on time.
The first fork in the road is when we rise. If we fail this test of the “small thing” then we start our day failing. We create Plan B’s that mean we will quit as soon as the slightest inconvenience comes. Rather, there should be no Plan B. Just one plan A – get up!
This first step down the road less travelled can lead to a progressively more orderly life and accomplishing small things all day long, every day creates dignity. We make promises to ourselves and to our Creator and we start keeping them and in that all human beings can express that dignity.
This is the road less travelled and once we embrace it, we need never go back because the benefits of this lesser travelled road will be a more interesting, productive and useful life that fuels our internal desire for sanctity and virtue. We do not need to tell anyone; we just need to tell ourselves and then act with fortitude.
So, today let us write our own poem. Let’s frame that internal conversation around a specific resolution to travel the road less travelled. Look for a piece of trash to clean up. Pick up the tray and dispose of the garbage others left behind. Let someone merge into traffic gently instead of speeding up to cut them off.
On and on the road less travelled is made up of small things done virtuously. Write our own poetry today of those small things done well. Clean our desk, finish our tasks well, pray, smile at our spouse even when we are tired and grumpy. Those are the poems of a heart that is learning to love one small thing at a time.
May Peace be with us all.