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

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Bones of Grace
    The Bones of Grace
    by Tahmima Anam
    The Bones of Grace completes Tahmima Anam's Bangladesh trilogy. The three novels, which can be ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood

    A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

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.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.