As a writer, ideas for my work comes from various sources and information. Some of my works have involved thoughts, opinions, and information gained over a life time, while others just pop into my head when I sit down at the computer to work.
The idea for this article has been one which has grown over my entire life as it has been pondered within my mind. It gained structure while referring back to the many references to the phrase represented by the title of this article, “Taking the Road Less Taken in Modern Life,” from people who have been a part of my life.
To many readers, it may seem like an old cliche or something which has no relevance to life. Some people may even consider it to be another reference to a religious topic. If a Christian person was to view just the title of the article this may be exactly the reference they make because it is one used often to explain their own course to live the Christian life. With my Christian background, I believe it is certainly, “Taking the Road Less Taken,” to be a part of that way of life.
Let me put the readers fears to rest, at this point. This writer is not going to preach religion or get into a theological debate. However, references to it’s meaning is left to the reader.
What this article is about is looking at what this phrase means in modern life. It is a metaphor which this writer is using in this article to address an idea of living life on a path not paved by greed, social position, power, prestige, fame, etc as seems to be the case for most people in this highly technical, modern age.
This article is based on what these eyes have seen, what others may have seen while traveling, and what lesson are learned and what is gained from the experience which relates to life itself. There is always some opinion thrown in the mix. Most of what I write is based on opinions which are grounded within my life and supported with those of other people with shared experiences. This article is meant to get people to think about the road they travel through life. There are examples placed throughout the article of different situations or events which explain the meaning of the phrase. However, after careful thought and reflection, the reader can probably come up with even more examples or events which this writer never considered.
The idea to write this article comes from discussions over the years this writer has had with many different types of people who have made reference to the phrase, “Taking the Road Less Taken.” Of course, much of it comes from my experience, but there are some resource links which may be referred to throughout the article. All of these will are listed with the article. It is a concept which has been done in other people’s writings, but this writer has pondered the questions about this phrase long before she even realized this question or phrase was handled by other writers. Growing up, it was a phrase used often in conversations and discussions with family members and friends.
It is hard to say whether this article is based solely in fact or opinion. “Taking the Road Less Taken,” is an idea, in and of itself, based on perceptions, observations, and reflections personal to each individual. (One reference given here is something the reader may enjoy reading. It is the poem by Robert Frost, The Road not Taken.)
Literal Interpretation of the Phrase, “Taking the Road Less Taken”
The literal interpretation of the phrase, “Taking the Road Less Taken, ” is about going down a road other’s may not choose to take when taking a trip or just going for a ride to relax. In these travels, the path is often based on plans made or the destination which a person wants to reach at the end of the trip. Many times a road is mistaken or a turnoff is missed leaving the traveler lost. It starts out about the trip and getting there. A person’s own observations and experiences can make the trip more rewarding.
Many people would become upset by this venturing off the beaten path, so to speak. However, there are those adventurous people who would look at it as way to explore someplace they had never explored before. They would find peace in the experience and maybe associate it a bit with life.
Depending on where you live or where you are traveling, an actual road less taken can mean different things. A road less take like the one in the following article, Taking the Road Less Traveled, is a paved road which is less traveled then other paved roads in the area. A more peaceful ride is obtained on these type of roads.
In some areas, there are still roads which are not paved. These are less traveled than the road mentioned in the above article. These roads get few if any travelers because of their unpaved surfaces. It does make for a bumpier and more uncomfortable ride.
Growing up in the hills of Southeastern Ohio, this writer has seen many roads which fit the description of roads which are less taken. Most of these roads are dirt or gravel roads. Many of these type of roads still remain usable after all these years. Only people who grew up in this area ever frequent these roads. Many newcomers or people passing through, have found themselves lost when they try to use these roads as short cuts or take in the beautiful scenery of the region. If you wanted to get lost, it would not be too hard to get lost here.
There are people who wish to drive for the sole purpose of getting lost to discover new things about the area, to relax and forget their troubles, or just to learn their way around. If you happen to be one of those people, come to Guernsey County in Southeastern Ohio, you can get lost or forget about all your problems for a while. Many do just that in this area of Ohio. It is a favorite pass-time to take off on a venture down some old country road and forget the problems which were there before you started on the ride.
The picture shown with this article is one example of a road which is less traveled in the area of Guernsey County, Ohio where this writer grew up. It is a road which cars do not travel any more. It was taken in the back yard of the mobile home where this writer now resides. It has long since grown over, but people do walk this road which is located close to the intersecting interstates of I-70 and I-77 out side of Cambridge, Ohio. (This is the hometown of this writer.)
Travel on many of the old roads in Guernsey County are like this one. Walking is the only way to travel these roads. Some really courageous people may try to drive down one of them, but they do so at their own risk. ATV’s and Four-Wheeler’s are often driven on many of these roads from time to time by the adventurous locals of the community. There are still those long time residents of the county who still walk these roads.
The writer in the following article describes her trip down a road less traveled. She explains what the trip meant to her. (Read about her experience in the article, Taking the Road Less Traveled.)
Even when looking at the literal meaning of, “Taking the road less taken,” one can’t help but making analogies to life itself. When you get out where nature is around you, instead of, buildings and commerce; the mind slows down to take in what is being presented to the eyes while feelings caused by the stress of living are replaced with feelings of serenity and wonder. You can’t help but use these analogies which have drifted into your mind from the trip down this less traveled road while reflecting on things within your own life. It becomes an awakening experience. Life is lived along these types of roads. There is a lot of history of our nation, and its many places along these roads.
The road the writer, Martha M. Boltz, in the article, Taking the Road Less Traveled, is traveling down is an old paved road. It is a US Route.
As mentioned earlier in this section, there exist, within towns and counties across this country, many roads less traveled. Some are paved, like the one in the article which has links placed in this section of the article; some are unpaved or graveled and are reduced to walking paths, like the one in the picture displayed with this article.
Roads like the one in the picture presented with this article are the roads in this region of Ohio which are nothing more than walking paths, horse paths, or roads which are only used for access to some hidden ponds, creeks, or streams. Some have been taken over as tourist walk ways and access through the state parks in this region of Southeastern Ohio. Guernsey County has Salt Fork State Park, Belmont County has BarKcamp State Park. These are the two main ones in this region of Southeaster Ohio. Other lakes and tourist areas exist throughout the region. (To get more information about those State Parks click on the name of the park in the information provided above. I am not going to go into too much detail about these parks or other attractions in this region here as it would cause me to drift off the topic of the article.)
When traveling down these roads, which are not heavily traveled, life lessons can be learned by their mere existence. They represent the literal meaning of, “The Road Less Taken.” The analogies and references to our own lives are natural. Life is a road in and of itself. It is the road a person takes from birth to death and traveling down the back roads to get from point A to point B shows us the very roads we take within our lives.
We can take the main road in life which follows a known path which others travel, we can take a path paved but less highly traveled as the main road, or we can take a road which few people will take because it is more treacherous, dangerous and less-comfortable.
So, as we move along, lets move from the literal interpretation of, “Taking The Road Less Taken,” to other life representations of the phrase. Since, we have seen how the literal meaning of the phrase leads us to life analogies; lets see what other lessons can be learned by this one simple phrase.
Taking the Road Less Taken in Reaching Goals and Making Decisions in Modern Life
When the decision to write this article turned from the mere idea of writing it into the written structure which is now this article, this writer put herself through a gambit of checks and balances. This is done with everything written by me.
Checking motivations and directions are always first determined before one word is ever written. Reasons for writing on a certain topic and the course or pattern of ideas presented within are carefully analyzed. So, it was bound to be a part of the process for writing this article.
After all the analyzing was completed, it became clear to me the reasons for writing this article were very simple. It is simply to get people thinking about the path they travel in life. Instead, of structuring it like others, it was best for me to let the ideas flows as they will. Along the way each idea has been analyzed, but there has been little planning of the ideas as they have come. Of course, some editing had to be done along the way. Even in the editing process, there was careful attention paid to the direction of ideas to avoid taking away from the natural flow which were an important part of the message being presented here.
Well, it would seem, this writer has taken a less traveled road in doing the very writing of this article. Most writers, this one included, starts with a broad list of ideas and filters down to more specific ones or constructs outlines to guide them along the way. Most would see this as the proper course to developing ones work. (This writer will not debate the issue on a right or wrong premise here. This is not the place for such information.)
What this writer just did, with the analogy above, was to show a simplified example of, “Taking the Road Less Taken,” in developing this very article.
Every decision we make in life is governed by our own thoughts, feelings, emotions, concerns, ideas, etc. within ourselves. These come from many sources. Outside influences are at the core of these decisions. Families, friends, colleagues, professionals, etc. influence what we think, feel, or express. Anyone who has ever taken a sociology class in college has been taught these basic facts. Simply put, we are a product of our experiences which come about in many ways and are influenced by many other people who have came and went from our lives. This is pretty much common knowledge.
When we are making a decision or setting goals, we often ask for the opinions of those around us. The ultimate decision is ours to make in the end. This decision will either follow closely to those opinions expressed by others or strictly be based on our own opinions.
Having taking the reader down this path, so to speak, let me express one more idea here. It is the idea of going completely in a direction which no one influenced or your own mind has created.
You hear about this all the time. People who take a totally different course to reach a goal or completely change the course of their lives by going the complete opposite direction they had once planned. For this person, they have taken a road less taken. Over the course of many years, this topic has been discussed and analyzed by many people who this writer has engaged in conversation. Because of this fact, this writer could come up with literally thousands of analogies to explain how this happens within ones own life. A book could be written about it. There has been one written about this very topic. This writer has never read it and didn’t know of it’s existence until doing some final research to validate this article. It is, “The Road Less Traveled.” It is a book written by M.Scott Peck, M.D.
Today, people are governed more by making money and gaining recognition for every thing they do then they are just to do what they feel will bring them the most self-satisfaction. Maybe they get all the self-satisfaction they need from what they do to make a buck. Maybe the ideas of this writer remains the sole reason financial success has not afforded me a high standard of living.
Whatever the case, they seem to be happy with their choices, and it is not the motivation of this writer to changes anyone’s mind. All the preceding information in this section of the article has led me to the basic point which is “Taking the Road Less Taken,” is not just the title of books, or poems. It is not just an analogy which is shown by traveling down a road which gets less traffic. Nor, is it just something a Christian uses to explain their Christian path. It is an idea of freedom within ones own mind to follow a course they set. “Taking the Road Less Taken in Life” is about taking a course which is governed by motivations which do not contain those of greed, money, or fame.
Roads in modern life many times for some people are motivated by greed, money, and fame. These are the more traveled roads. These roads are filled with lots of competition, road blocks, stops and starts, chaos, confusion, frustration. The road less traveled may be rockier or take longer to travel, but the view is much nicer and the results are much more rewarding. There are problems along the less taken road, but one has more time to stop and take care of them. One is not rushed through a course or made to compete with others as much. A person can just relax and take their time to make better more thought out decisions.
Following the norm and advice of the countless people who have told me how to write, what to write about, and how to get it into print could have made me much more money throughout my writing career. However, this writer is far happier with the writing which she has created.
Remaining true to my own beliefs and values, instead of, following the course of countless others has proven to be the proper course for this writer. This writer will never be a famous writer, but the joy of writing will never truly leave me. It is the joy of writing which keeps me writing. When there is no more joy in writing, this writer will cease to write.
Countless other people, who have come in contact with this writer over the years, prefer to follow the same idea. They are not rich by any means, but they are happier about the choices they have made within their own lives. Following the road less taken teaches us about ourselves and our own lives. It isn’t lead by the popular opinion or the road which others would prefer, but is the best one for the individual who chooses to take it.
If you take a look at history and those who chose to take the road less taken, you will find many people who have become a success and done some great things. Those people were able to become success stories without giving up their morals or virtues in the process. They were given and exercised the freedom to be the people they truly wanted to be in their work and in their personal lives.
If you really take the time to consider it carefully, the very creation of this nation was done so by taking the road less taken. If our founding fathers followed the course England wanted them to follow, we would not be a nation today.
In today’s world, with all its new technology and fast paced life-styles, people want to find the easy road to wealth, fame, and prosperity. They start out with a goal or a dream. They start out on a road paved with these ideas only to find they are in a crowd of millions traveling down the same road. The road is packed with people who are getting scammed, bankrupted, killed, stomped, and destroyed along this road to this greed filled life-style.
There is no easy road to wealth and fame. Many who did gain wealth and fame had to take many less traveled roads to achieve their goals and gain the positions they have obtained. There are many people who will never achieve the wealth and fame these people have achieved. Many are not even seeking it.
Like this writer, many are merely happy on the less taken road they continue to travel which leads them home to a family who loves them and the work that fulfills their hopes and dreams.
When wealth and greed are the only motivators, life holds little of the more basic, life-fulfilling benefits. The benefits which are not acquired with dollars in a person’s pocket. These are those precious moments not found on the main road but are found on the less taken roads leading to driveways and homes of those who love us the most.
With the writing of this article, this writer has taken new stalk in her writing, life, and future.
Today, is the beginning of a new direction for the writer of this article. Not in what is written, but in how it is written. Meaning, “Taking the Road Less Taken,” for me means taking the responsibility to remain true to who I am as a person and a writer. I will put myself on a stricter moral compass which will allow me to remain true to the person I am meant to be and will become in the future.
Writing this article has taught me more than anything I have written to date. My hope is that others get the chance to let it teach them something or bring them to a clearer appreciation for those things in life which are more precious than what fame or fortune can provide.
This writer leaves the reader with the question; what does taking the road less taken mean to you?