Why do we say "Go With the Flow.

Well-Known Expressions

Go With the Flow

Meaning:

To do what other people are doing, or agree with the opinion of the majority, because it is the easiest thing to do

Background:

While the expression "go with the flow" is thought to have originated in the 1960s, some say that 2nd century Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus expressed the sentiment when he wrote:

"Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."

Although both the modern phrase and Marcus Aurelius refer to the passing of events in the terms of water, it's questionable whether the concept of following the crowd by going with the flow is expressing the same sentiment as Marcus Aurelius, who, it would appear, is saying something a little deeper - that it is impossible to cling on to the way things are because change is relentless.

Marcus Aurelius made a number of other profound observations in his writing:

  • That we are responsible for our own experience of life
    "Such as are your habitual thoughts; such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the color of your thoughts."

  • The importance of making the most of our life
    "It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live."

  • To be grateful
    "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love."

  • To not be complacent about, or get overly attached to, material things
    "Receive wealth or prosperity without arrogance; and be ready to let it go."

  • To accept your life
    "Everything is unfolding as it must, and if you observe carefully, you will find this to be so."

Alphabetical list of expressions

Challenge yourself with BookBrowse Wordplays

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Pachinko
    Pachinko
    by Min Jin Lee
    Pachinko has one of the best opening lines I've encountered in some time: "History has failed us, ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    I See You
    by Clare Mackintosh

    A dark and compelling thriller about an everyday woman trapped in the confines of her everyday world.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Fifth Petal
    by Brunonia Barry

    Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

He who opens a door, closes a prison

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.