Imagine yourself broken, battered, tired, and lost. You're trudging, one foot after the other down an old, brittle concrete path littered with cigarette butts, feces, and glass bottles. Each step is agonizing, but you know that you need to keep moving. Everyone says that this path leads to a great fortune and the highest form of success, but you have yet to catch a glimpse of that mythical end. Just as you're about to run out of steam, you reach a fork. Two completely different roads lay before you:
To the West, jagged, sandy rocks jut out from the dirt road that leads to snow-capped mountains along the horizon. The sun shines brightly down that road, but surely these obstacles will be difficult to overcome even in the most pristine weather. To the East, the road is cleanly paved with newly painted marks; the yellow hashes and white lines seem to glow against the dark, warm tarmac. There is a storm looming on the horizon, but surely the quality of the road will make travel through any storm endurable.
You stand there in trepidation and wonderment, when slowly a ghostly figure of an oracle appears from thin air. She's everything you would imagine: a blue glow encompasses her being, and as you gaze into her soft, green eyes, her wisdom is apparent. Just as you begin to try to justify this vision as a result of your obvious exhaustion, she speaks. Her voice is so soft and steady, that it gently rests upon your ears...."Rest easy, my child. The adversity you have faced on your journey has left you weary. For your hard work, I have laid these two rejuvenating paths for you. Both are fruitful, and both are challenging..."
She looks to the East, "The path to the East is smooth and predictable. It will provide you and your family with long-term security and strength. But beware, although this road is dependable, it is long and tedious. You will burden yourself with stress, and achieving personal health and happiness will be no easy task."
She looks to the West, "The path to the West is rocky and uncertain. By traversing this road your body and mind will become strong. But beware, although this road will provide you with exuberance and vitality, supporting your family will prove to be difficult. You will burden yourself with hard work, and finding time for your family will be no easy task."
As she slowly fades away into the sky she whispers, "Whichever way you go, you must give all of yourself, or all is lost. The choice is with you..."
You look East, then West, East again, then West again. Each road tugs at your heart strings so hard that it almost brings you to tears. Which path will you choose?