To "go with the flow" is generally understood to mean moving in concert with prevailing trends.
A person who follows this philosophy might be seen as mellow, agreeable, a good team player. Or, alternately, could be viewed as unimaginative, lazy, lacking in leadership qualities.
Singer Enya yearns to sail on the Orinoco Flow, which she hopes will "Carry me on the waves to the lands I’ve never seen." In this case, the flow, or current, offers the opportunity for movement and, ultimately, change.
The National Weather Service has advice for those who are trapped in a strong current and wish to break free:
- Try to remain calm to conserve energy.
- Don't fight the current.
- Think of it like a treadmill you can't turn off. You want to step to the side of it.
- Swim across the current in a direction following the shoreline.
- When out of the current, swim and angle away from the current and towards shore.
- If you can't escape this way, try to float or calmly tread water. Rip current strength eventually subsides offshore. When it does, swim towards shore.
- If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
Senator Robert F. Kennedy described a powerful yet positive current in a speech at the Day of Affirmation, University of Capetown, South Africa:
"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation...
It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or a woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he (or she) sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
The flow can be a positive or a negative. How we deal with life's currents is, fundamentally, a very personal decision.
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Thank you to Marie Coleman, whose photograph and comments suggested the topic of this posting.
"Streaming" by makelessnoise