The Paths We Choose

The lady sitting in the back of the taxi anxiously and repeatedly tells the taxi driver to hurry. The taxi driver points out that he is unable to progress any faster than he already has, as his way is blocked by long rows of traffic. She looks up and is alarmed to realize that the taxi driver is indeed helpless.

In a panic, she pleads with the taxi driver to figure out another route.

The taxi driver replies tartly, “But ma’am, if we take a different route, we will get at a different place.”

This was an amusing movie scene but it also put me into some thought. It stood out for me as contrary to some well-heard statements that there may be many ways to achieve the same means. A Chinese proverb says:

There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same.

So, what is the answer? There must be something distinct about each path. The destination in itself might not be different. However, what the journey gives us would be different with each path.

As a simple example, I can study and get an A, or I can cheat to get it. The destination of an A can indeed be arrived at either way, but the two paths really do lead to different places. Often, in choosing paths, there seems little difference but, inherent in the decisions might be discretion for applying different values and different things that we attain or give up, aside from the main task at hand. A very different proverb says:

A man’s destination is determined by the path he chooses.

Indeed, life is always about the journey. There is the easier path, the steadier path, the right path. There is a choice of skill, morality, learning experience. I think every path, even to the same destination, does seem to lead a different way after all.

But if I reach the same place at the end, is the view not the same? No, because my perception would not be same. And that makes all the difference.



5 thoughts on “The Paths We Choose

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