Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, 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 traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost 1912
To the Unconquered —
Many years ago, as a young grade school lad, I chose this poem to do a homework assignment for English. I had liked Robert Frost not only because he lived a great portion of his life in Massachusetts, but because I loved the Kennedys back then…as we all did…and I had discovered that President Kennedy loved Robert Frost and had even invited him at the age of 84 to his inauguration in 1960. So, I thought all that was cool.
There have been millions of people trying to decide what Frost truly meant by this intriguing poem, but in my simple view it is just basically about the choice(s) you make in life. We all have to make decisions on a daily basis and then of course we have to live with them. We hope that we have made the right decisions that will help solve the mission, make us happy and make those around us proud. Sometimes, we may reflect back and say…maybe I should have taken that other more well-trodden path.
In my case, I always seemed to take the path less traveled…from choosing the Naval Academy in the aftermath of Woodstock and the Beatles, to switching from a successful surface line career to Intelligence, to leaving my first job to start a company, to ultimately leaving a successful Big Business position to start all over at ground zero with Invictus. My motto was always no risk no reward, but it is not for everybody. In my case, I always felt that God and my Irish determination would guide me on this path….and as Frost said….so do I…and that has made all the difference.
Five years ago, when I started Invictus, I once again chose the path less traveled and it has made all the difference to me personally. My journey and your journeys have led us to each other…it certainly is a culmination of my life’s work and I am truly blessed that you are all on this path with me. Invictus has accomplished a lot in the last 5 years … with a lot more to come. Thank you for being a part of this very special family and taking this journey with me.
To all the Spartans of Invictus – always choose your own path in the Yellow Woods and forever Remain Unconquered.