People often repeat the quaint phrase “Go with the flow”. There are a number of different interpretations for this saying. This difference in interpretation accounts for the confusion in its meaning. The Urban Dictionary (www.urbandictionary) assigns the following definition to this saying: |
1. To not push against prevailing behavior/norms/attitudes, occasionally including bowing to peer pressure.
2. To not attempt to exert a large amount of influence on the course of events, whether a specific series of events or events in general. A person who does this is often referred to as "laidback" or "easygoing".
Based on the definition given above, one can see how, “going with the flow” is akin to giving up our personal power. This saying is often compared to a river. Perhaps the river of life. This good feeling phrase suggests that one must not swim up the river because it requires too much effort. Instead, some aspiring gurus suggest going with the flow of the river. Proponents of this philosophy insist that it is more desirable to go with the grain than against the grain because struggling against the will of the Universal Mind is hopeless. On the surface, the concept of going with the flow seems to be a sensible philosophy, but let’s explore it further. Independent thinking is a positive attribute (in most situations). Following the crowd does not always make sense. One should question a leader’s motives, rather than blindly following him. We are not mindless zombies. We have the capability to think for ourselves and make our own decisions. I do not mean that one need be an activist. My comment asks that you think for yourself. If you do not agree the beliefs and attitudes of your peers, then do something different. Be a leader rather than a follower.
People have told me that there are times when you must go along with others in order to get through a particular situation. I have rarely done that. I agree there are times when going with the flow is necessary, but in most cases there are other options available. If your life is in jeopardy, then it is advisable that you play along with the person(s) in charge. I do not advise sacrificing you or your loved one’s life for a cause. It’s not worth it. Opposing the system out of principle or ideals is unnecessary. Chances are you will not be remembered for it. Again this is not absolute. There are times when we must step up and do our duty. We must use our good sense in deciding when take the stage and when to work behind the scenes. Going with the flow affects our spiritual growth. Humans need to be challenged. We need to have moderate stress in our lives to grow in spirit. This condition cannot be accomplished by going with the flow. Sometimes we need to swim upstream just to see how far we can get.
Humans need to test their resolve and endurance. Humans need obstacles to overcome. If we fail to challenge ourselves from time to time, we will wither and die. Sports is one area where the human spirit is put to the test. Athletes are bent on winning and breaking records. Going with the flow as given in the Urban Dictionary is not a wise course to take. We need to push ourselves to take on the difficult projects rather than hiding from them.
I would also like to point out that going upstream is not always the best option. It’s prudent to avoid the potholes and icebergs that threaten sink us. There are critical moments when we must act quickly to avoid disaster. Nor do we need to subject ourselves to undue stress. Overstress is unhealthy and even deadly. Again, there is no absolute interpretation for this concept. The employment of such a philosophy comes down to using our good sense.
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