I have run across this picture a number of times over the years and it always impacts me. The boy has two paths, the picture shows the results of both. We reap what we sow and this is a graphic way of illustrating it. It reminds me of the following piece I read years ago and now at sixty, and paying for the follies of the past, it has a bitter sting.
Health is, indeed so necessary to all the duties as well as pleasures of life, that the crime of squandering it is equal to the folly; and he that for a short gratification brings weakness and diseases upon himself, and for the pleasure of a few years passed in the tumults of diversion and clamors of merriment, condemns the maturer and more experienced part of his life to the chamber and the couch, may be justly reproached, not only as a spendthrift of his happiness, but as a robber of the public; as a wretch that has voluntarily disqualified himself for the business of his station, and refused that part which providence assigns him in the general task of human nature.