09 Mar The Road Most Taken
Robert Frost’s famous poem The Road Not Taken ends with the classic lines, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.” I cannot tell how many times through the years I have heard people reference this passage to themselves. I have never heard anyone say they took the road most traveled. We love ourselves and think we are very unique from all others. And while that is true in a limited sense but the larger truth is we are all alike. If this were not true there could not be medical science. We need to be like each other so doctors can diagnose our problems because we have symptoms that digress from the norm. Without norms it would be impossible to help the ill.
The same is true psychologically. Without norms we couldn’t know when and how someone was maladjusted and what to do to help them. It is an extremely rare person who does not automatically use Freud’s ego-defense mechanisms. But it seems that our love for ourselves deceives us into thinking we are outliers several standard deviations above the norm. We are the protagonist of our life story and therefore we think we took the road less traveled. It blinds us to the reality of the millions of others crowding the same road as we. Yes – it is true each of us is a unique one of a kind being and the irony is that very uniqueness is what makes us the same as others.
When God made us He said, “Let us make man in our image.” Man was a distinctly new creature different from angels and other heavenly beings described in the book of Revelation. We must accept the gift of eternal life so we can meet those others. It will be an eternity of discovery.