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Table of Contents

Wisdom from
The Road Less Traveled

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” Socrates
Patrick O'Conner. Contributor for aroundKent Magazine. Kent, Ohio. Photograph by Matt Keffer

This edition of the Road Less Traveled features wisdom from subjects featured in aroundKent Magazine. 16 subjects have shared their Roads with me. It has been a pleasure and honor to learn from them and chronicle their success. They are indeed a rare alumni group. A summary of the first eight subjects was the basis of Travel Tips from the Road Less Traveled (Vol.11). The primary emphasis of that volume was the need for a new conversation and approach to career planning in response to a myriad of changes. Eight additional subjects have been featured since that volume. Those subjects echoed the themes of the first eight. They also reflected specific personal qualities that led to their success. Wisdom from the RLT blends the themes and qualities of all sixteen subjects into one.  

Dr. Patrick O'Connor -
Life Long Learning Connection

Career and Life Navigation

Wisdom is a quality or concept most people have grown accustomed to hearing. It is often associated with people who have lived long, successful lives. It is difficult to describe as it is one of those “you know it when you see or hear it” qualities. Most people know and have known people they describe as wise and seek their wisdom. But what exactly is wisdom?

Wisdom is “designed” to assist people in learning from the experience of others. Often, this occurs when people are unsure of what is happening or a productive path to follow. We seek the wisdom of others to guide us and avoid the mistakes others have made. Those with wisdom wish to share it enabling those who receive it to live a good life. Wise people have been revered in virtually all cultures since the beginning of time. They are an essential component of sustaining and perpetuating a culture.

There are several similar definitions and descriptions of wisdom. Most of them describe it as a quality or ability to make good judgments based on what you have learned from your experience. Wisdom means having the knowledge and understanding to recognize the right course of action and having the will and courage to follow it. This segment of the Road Less Traveled reflects on the RLT subjects featured in AroundKent as examples of how to find the “right course of action and the will and courage to follow it.”

16 Road Less Traveled (RLT) features were written for aroundKent Magazine ( in the last 6 years. The features chronicled the winding paths of interesting successful people. Each feature included a few quotes related to the RLT subject and his/her path in life. The idea also was to give the reader insight to the subject’s RLT experiences. The Roads and the quotes reflect wisdom we can all follow. Volume 20 is a summary of the series. The quotes compliment the lives and paths of the subjects guiding them through disappointment and failure.  

The quotes are a summary of how they fought through the struggles of life. One conclusion from the series is the only guarantee in life is your ability, talent, and effort to chart your own course.  Together, these quotes provide wisdom and guidance for navigating life and career. They can encourage people to stay the course, meet a challenge and remain optimistic in the face of adversity.  

Stay the course – Each RLT subject relies on resiliency to persevere. In some respects, living in a global world requires this due to constant change. Resiliency is also a primary workforce quality expected by employers.

“experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”

“To not try is to fail” Nelson Burns (volume 8).

“It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin. (Volume 17).

Courage comes from the presence of faith rather than the absence of fear. War II Veteran (Volume 16).

“Define yourself rather than be defined by others.” Linda Ferguson, (Volume 7).

Meet a challenge – All RLT subjects are good examples of people who accept and meet all challenges that come their way usually from circumstances beyond their control. They possess a “quiet confidence” they lean on when times are tough. They take no shortcuts.

“Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Marine Corp Veteran. (Volume 15).

“Who cares if I stumble; no one is keeping score”. Gwen Rosenberg, (volume 10).

“The thing you least want to hear may be the most important thing to hear”. Marty Mordarski, (Volume 5).

It is the teacher’s job to open the door; it is the student’s job to go through the door. Proverb. (Volume 13)

Remain optimistic – Optimism is a good quality to have when life is filled with chaos and confusion. These RLT quotes provide guidance to remain optimistic when responding to chaos.

Joan Meggitt’s motto “take the leap; someone will catch you”. (Volume 19).

“Find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Confucius. (Volume 17).

“We earn a living by what we get: we get a life by what we give”. Winston Churchill, (Volume 14).

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”. Fr. Thomas Merton, (Volume 3).

“Do small things with great love”. Mother Theresa of Calcutta, The Last Dreamer, (Volume 16).

Each of us has a Road Less Traveled. We can reflect on these quotes and let them guide us wherever we are on our path. We can learn from the shared wisdom of the RLT subjects to choose the “right course of action and the will and courage to follow it.”

George Miller

Tom Fulton

Marilyn Sessions

Dr. Joe Hendershott

Frances Mae Rottman

Bill White

Rachel Brown

Joan Meggitt

Ray's Place, Kent, OH. Photograph by Matt Keffer
Meet Me AT Ray's. Written by Patrick O'Connor.
Meet Me At Ray's, written by Patrick O'Connor.

aroundkent Digital Magazine is a local, regional website containing relevant information about Kent, Ohio, Akron and the surrounding area, including all of Northeast Ohio. Thinking about what to do in Kent?, or where to eat in Kent? Our focus is on art, music, food, family and everything in-between. Our content is sent to us by local professionals so it's both accurate and updated regularly. Our goal is simple: to showcase the amazing people, places and things in and around Kent, Ohio. We are also designers and photographers working on the webflow platform.