14 November 2010

Forks in the Road

Life is pretty relentless in presenting us with decisions to make, isn't it?  While most of the decisions that we have to make are relatively minor as we travel along (should I stop now to go to the bathroom, or wait until the next exit?), it also presents us with some major forks in the road that force us to decide just how and where we're going to be going in the future.  Most of the time we make the safe and simple choice, which usually means sticking with the status quo and not making any real changes.

But how often do we ask ourselves why these particular forks in our roads appear?  How often do we stand back and consider just what we might get out of a change in our lives, just what we may become if we take a risk and try something new and completely different?  Why is it so easy to simply keep on doing what we're doing, avoiding the risk that change and newness so often represent to us?

Obviously, not every new road that we may take is in our best interest.  Sometimes it seems that we're tested by being presented with new roads that may force us to leave our ethics and beliefs at the roadside before we're able to go further down them.  Sometimes the dangers that the new roads offer aren't worth the trade-off of leaving behind some of the safety that we've been able to create on our current roads.  Some roads even cause us to hurt people close to us for little or no reason, such as the roads taken by men who abandon their children in order to go somewhere else or do something else.

But whenever a new road shows itself, I feel a bit of melancholy driving or walking by it without doing any exploring.  I'd love to explore every side road that I encountered, but that simply isn't what life is about.  One of the things I know is that other people know the road I'm on, and in many ways they depend on me.  I don't want to let them down, either, so I stay where I'm at, in sight and within reach (not always physically, though).  I keep access to the older road, even if I'm on a new one--and that doesn't feel bad at all.  In fact, it feels pretty good!

So what new roads are in sight for you right now?  Are they all appropriate for you?  Does what they offer mean that you'd have to change as a person in order to get it?  Will the new road make you wiser, stronger, more loving and compassionate?  Each new road raises many, many questions, and I wish you well as you ask them of yourself and answer them honestly.

People take different roads seeking fulfillment
and happiness.  Just because they're not on
your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost.

H. Jackson Browne

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