Ancient wisdom for today (1)

August 1st 2012, Day 1, Proverbs 1

“Dear friend, if bad companions tempt you, don’t go along with them.” Proverbs 1:10 (The Message)

We are wired to be in friendship / community / relationship with other people, but we are all constantly being bombarded by the influence of fashion-trends (in clothing, music, books, even lifestyle).

Businesses try sell us stuff try to do the same thing by telling us what other people are buying and, of course, the social media side of online business is able to do this very effectively by telling us what our friends ‘like’ or buy. The end of journey they are taking us on is the same, to get us to ‘buy into’ (if not literally buy) the things that others are into.

You wouldn’t normally set out on a long journey without an idea of where you’re going – and I’ve certainly experienced that feeling that the place I’ve got to wasn’t worth the pain of getting there – and yet when we blindly set out to follow the things that other’s ‘like’ how often do we pause to think about the implication.

One of the online retailers I use has introduced a feature where they show me products that they think I’ll like and give me the pportunity to agree or disagree with their suggestion. I’ve noticed that as I hover undecidedly over the ‘like’ option a little window pops open to show me some of the things they’ll recommend to me if I say ‘like’.

Sadly not all of life is that straight-forward; we don’t always get a warning of where that first step will take us next and very rarely were it will ultimately lead…

It’s not fashionable to encourage people to think-ahead before acting – but that’s what I’m going to encourage today – don’t just say ‘yes’ because other people are… ultimately you are the one responsible for your decisions and actions… pause a moment and consider where they might lead you.

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