The No-Win Situation

Fork In The RoadThere are times in one’s life when a situation presents you with a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ decision.

Such a conundrum has arisen in the past few days, where no matter which way the outcome goes, somebody is going to be unhappy.

At such times it is easy to be lead by your heart, hoping that the happiness you gain will offset the unhappiness of others. On the other hand, the unhappiness of others could easily put a dark cloud over your own feelings, not just for the immediate future, but for eternity.

In my situation, the final decision may not even be in my own hands, making it doubly difficult. I have got used to having my destiny under my control, so relinquishing it to someone else sits a little awkwardly.

My gut feeling, and my Buddhist teaching tell me that I should sacrifice my feelings so that others do not have to, but time will tell how it is resolved.

Mulling it over and over in my mind, knowing that whichever way it turns out, I will never know whether it was for the best, reminded me of the poem by Robert Frost.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, 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 travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

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