“I’m tired of trying to swim upstream. I think I’ll just go with the flow and see where the current takes me.”
There are times, of course, when that’s good advice. There are plenty of battles that are just not worth fighting.
But there are also times “going with the flow” is more like giving up or giving in to the drag of inertia.
As a bumper sticker said: “Only dead fish float downstream!”
I think we all recognize that there are a few things—the things that matter most to us—that are worth fighting for. Things that call on us to use our inner strength, our upstream muscles
The challenge of not compromising ourselves or our values.
The challenge of not compromising our commitment to the people we love.
The challenge of trying to do no harm in the world.
The challenge to keep growing as a person…all the way to the last day.
The challenge to be fully alive and present today.
The challenge of giving ourselves to others for their good with no expectations.
In other words, it’s about overcoming the drag of inertia with the fire of commitment. Which brings us to today’s quotation from Abraham Heschel:
“Living is an ongoing encounter, a fighting to the end, in which thought of surrender is inconceivable. Fight against boredom, inertia. To live with commitment means to face opposition, to dare, to defy. A lack of such commitment means evading the challenge, drifting with the current.”
Easy? No. But it beats flopping around in the shallows or floating downstream, belly up.