The Masterplan


Robert Frost has a popular poem titled The Road Not Taken from which the last stanza is often cited. Self-help gurus, your fourth grade English teacher, Orange Is The New Black, etc. That final stanza states:

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.
And this is the part that you will hear most of the time, whether out of context, in context, or even taken in a subjective context. No this isn’t going to be an agreement to the interpretation of the poem by the main character of Orange Is The New Black, (I’ve never actually watched the show, except for that scene.)
The interpretation of the poem being about how we actually end up in the same place regardless of what path we take is interesting, but it’s still one person’s interpretation. The question his poem makes me ponder is, is there a master plan? Are we, being human and all, each our own forward-moving wheel built out of our good, bad, and great habits slowly decaying to our timely deaths?
If it were so, then fate would be predetermined. Genetics, to an extent, controls parts of our wheel. How you look, and even parts of your personality are determined by the people who created you, and the people who created them. You may be a good looking wheel that is slowly decaying, or you may be an ugly one, but you rarely ever see an “ugly” person take advantage of their looks.
Crude example? Sure. Point is that parts of the “wheel” are out of our control. You can change your habits, slow down a bit, maybe change your direction, and do a plethora of other things that alter your trajectory. But how much can you really change until changing becomes your habit, and can’t you change so much that you end up becoming the person you originally were? Additionally, you will always have forward momentum. So what is the master plan?
Can we end up exactly where we want, and what are the costs? Every wheel moving toward the end of their time has to change to some extent. No one gets to escape the necessary fate of changing in order to get where you want. Well, maybe some people do, but those people are insanely lucky. For everyone else, luck lies in trying.
The more you try the more likely luck will fall into your lap. Maybe that’s what Noel was singing about. It’s all part of the masterplan.  Hey, I had to stick a reference to the reference of the title somewhere, right?

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