As I travelled down the road of life and met intersections, I thought about choices for my path to the future. My frame of reference is growing up In “the hood,” (a term of endearment I use to refer to many of neighborhoods in urban America where many young people of color live). There in ‘the hood”, early on I made decisions about– sometimes under intense pressure– which road to take. Now thinking back I realize that taking the high road can be against the grain, at least it was predominant for the thinking in my circle in my “hood” or some circles, even some families: I remember some of my friends’ parents expecting them to fight and kick butt or the parent would kick their butts when they “got home!” I, on the other hand, had parents who expected that I not fight and that in itself was a war of ideologies for my circle of friends. Obviously, my parents wanted me to take the high road, “tell the teacher!” Yes, how you choose to deal with bullies at school is either by taking it to your parent(s) or school official(s) or taking it to the streets.
At first I tried the low road because the low road didn’t upset the waters and I wanted to fit in. Eventually I noticed how the low road began to box me in and I wasn’t meeting the values instilled by my parents (in fact, I was going in the opposite direction of those values). I now know that if you are on the path of the low road and have a change of heart, the chance to intersect with the high road can be next to impossible because the two destinations are so far apart and the roads, not always, but often lead to two opposite directions. The longer I took the low road, the farther it drifted away from the high road. After experiencing some of the consequences, I had an epiphany and realized the longer on that path, the more I would have to deal with whatever was associated with it.
There was hope– if I was willing to walk long and hard in a different direction, I could reach the high road. I saw an opportunity to take that different direction and I started the journey. The path was bumpy, there were steep hills and dark valleys, complicated routes and it was tiresome and long. Thank God there were signs along the way that said I was headed in the right direction.
The high road may seem dull and, yes, the the hills are tough to climb, but its path leads to an awesome view. The high road and the low road don’t merge; those two roads are far apart and one destination leads above and beyond the other leads to underachieved and out of range. The high road may be the road less travelled, but it is certainly the road that ends in a better view of the world.