Any Way the Wind Blows

Depending on the route, I pass this beautiful weathervane a few times a week on my daily walks. Without fail, it brings to mind the saying: “Any way the wind blows.” 

To my way of thinking, that means to be easily persuaded, not to stand firm.

Similar, many people “go with the flow.” In my first book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth, I wrote: “Don’t go with the flow or against it. Create your own.” 

A friend of mine took a stand to not go with the flow, not go with the wind. She opted not to gather with a group of friends (many of them at risk) because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Will there be friendship fallout from this stand? That’s yet to be seen. I respect that she stood firm in her convictions.

Do you go with the flow, any way the wind blows—or do you stand firm?

© lauriebuchanan.com

49 thoughts on “Any Way the Wind Blows

  1. It probably depends on how strong my beliefs are on a particular matter. I often like to observe from the shore before deciding. Take care 🙂

  2. I tend to do my own thing and often inadvertently take on a leadership role. I try not to be opinionated, as I respect everyone has their own views on things, and there are always two sides to every story. Being flexible is a good trait to have.

  3. I guess we could look at a weather vane as a sign post – it gives us the information we need so we can choose what to do with the wind. We can harness it, stand firm in it, or walk against it. I admire your friend’s decision. That’s long-term thinking during a short-term situation.

  4. I am faced with a similar dilemma. Our president has just eased restrictions in our country, where final year uni students and final year Senior high school students are to report to school ( quite reckless I should add). Churches are to also to open with only a 100 members. Despite guidelines drawn by the respective supervisory bodies, I still think it is wrong timing and everything. As a church elder, do I refuse to attend church this coming Sunday, observing all protocols for staying safe of stay at home? Still in a quandary. 🙂

    Good to be back from hibernating. 🙂

  5. This is an interesting question, Laurie. Several years ago at work, not only were we given Myers-Briggs testing, but also MBS testing to see what color we were. I was yellow–resists change until she has all the facts. Go with the flow? Not me. I need info and time–no rushing this gal!

  6. Like Arlene, I think we can choose what to do with the wind.
    Though we can’t change the wind as such. The sailing metaphor applies, for fun or efficiency.
    A dream can be like a wind, if I attend to its mood.

  7. Like so many things, whether I bend or not depends on the situation. Sometimes one must bend with the wind, go with the flow, exhibit flexibility. But if it’s something that go against my beliefs, I will stand firm. Sometimes that ends up with me being called opinionated – so be it.

  8. Laurie, I am not one of the Sheeple that rush to every novel theory and product because a public or civic crisis has caused upheaval. The majority of people seemed to have been raised with at least a minimum of decency, enough to know right from wrong. I expect that from others, a common ground. I wouldn’t like to think I that am a rigid, stone cold pillar of self-righteousness, but I do stand firmly on the standards that I have been raised with. I know I am not always correct in my assessment of a situation but I think principles give me the stability to regard it with a certain clarity. With a clear sky ahead, you shouldn’t need a Weatherman “to see which way the wind blows”, with another nod to Mr. Dylan, “the times they are achanging.”. Turn the page…

  9. Thought-provoking for me when I think of wilderness canoeing because paddlers must always account for the wind. Some days, it’s all paddling downwind. Others, straight into the teeth. Still others, crosswinds that try to catch you off guard.

    When I’m headed for a particular lake on a canoe trip and want to arrive safe and on time, I may have to deal with winds from all directions. But I’m always forging ahead toward my goal. However, when the wind is dangerously high, sometimes the only sane option is to not go at all because the flow is too powerful to try to go with it, against it, or across it. That’s why smart paddlers always pack a good book (like “Straight River” or “Castle Danger”) to while away the occasional windbound day. 🙂

    Chris

      • 🙂 I put my brain to good use at least once in a while.

        And, yes, of course, both books are available in eBook format which makes for lighter packing too. 🙂

  10. One of my book groups has truly forgotten about me and are moving on. They will not Zoom and I really need to isolate to prepare for Grandchildren.
    I quite often go my own way and I feel very comfortable not being so public anymore. I enjoy being with myself and am always engaged with something. I have deeply held expectations and beliefs and I try to share them kindly. I stand firm.
    When young, I resisted fire hoses, smoke bombs, dogs, and shields and night sticks. What is happening now, I think I would break ranks and head for the peaceful people and vote. These paid rioters are just over the top….scary and destructive. Then again silence is complicity – not for me

  11. Hi Laurie,

    Neither.

    I’ve done a lot of sailing and flying. I am used to using the power of the air currents to allow me to go where I want by going in various directions that are possible, and get me closer to where I want to be, but are rarely directly towards it.

    So I often use the power of the flow, by redirecting it in various ways, to get to where I want to go.

    And sometimes the flow is too strong, and I need to go with it to some degree. Three times in my time at sea I found myself in winds in excess of 80 knots and seas that can only be described as mountainous. Once I was at sea in a small dinghy in a squall of about 70 knots – which was “interesting”.

    And in Zen there is the idea of bending like the grass does in the wind – neither resisting nor going, but flexing and coming back.

    And looking at it from an entirely different perspective, that of information systems, one can look at all of life and all of existence as embodied information systems. One of the things to come out of the theory of “search” about 20 years ago is that the most efficient possible search of unstructured data is the fully random search.

    So part of what I do is “random search” across all “possibility spaces” that I am aware of (all of what is real and all of what might be possible).

    In a very real sense, random search is entirely independent of “flow”.
    So in that sense, I try and spend a significant fraction of my time outside of the idea of flow (in any and all dimensions).

    So my response is very much dependent on both context and choice – sometimes I stand, sometimes I go with the flow, and sometimes I am completely outside the “flow”.

  12. Interesting discussion. It may appear to some that we go any which way the wind blows, but we really don’t. We follow a path which includes principles and practices, but that path is a little different than most are used to. I also like to use my artist persona to play with people a bit. 🙂

  13. I never follow anyone , in fact , I sometimes follow a completely different path just to make a point . Now , that can really infuriate my husband and when he’s not looking I will change again . Isn’t it a woman’s prerogative? Or am I being old fashioned.
    Cherryx

  14. I love the wind. To me, it’s also a mystical thing. But, I do go with the flow to a certain extent because honestly, I don’t really want to be hated by others. Yet, at the same time I don’t go with the flow and I do make enemies because there are those who are not our kind of people. There’s no pleasing some no matter what you do, then I don’t try. Yet, I don’t think you will find many of them here, unless they are trollers and get off on putting others down.

  15. I’ve been watching way too many people go with the flow over the last couple of months, and it alarms me. Phrases like “hive mind” and “group think” do not refer to good things in my humble opinion. I’ll do my own thing in my own quiet way.

  16. It depends on the day and the issue. If it’s something I feel strongly about, I stand firm. For most things, I just let it go.

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