Holding Something While it Rots

I once heard the marketing guru Seth Godin say that “Too many people are holding onto something while it rots.” If you think of this idea in physical terms—say of holding onto a rotting piece of fruit—it seems absurd. We wouldn’t do that. Yet when it comes to the intangibles we often don’t realize the absurdity of our actions.

I think this tendency to cling to what is rotting is why we are slow to embrace new things.

When it comes to technology, it causes us to dismiss things like NFTs or the Metaverse without taking the time to try and understand them. I remember my grandfather once explaining to me why he didn’t need a computer. This was after he complained to me that we didn’t send him enough photos of our family and I told him he could see photos we post each day. To my knowledge, he never got a computer as long as he lived.

When it comes to faith in Jesus, it causes us to be skeptical of things like deconstruction while we white-knuckle our beliefs even harder and hope it works (see: Why I’m a Fan of Deconstruction). We’re tempted to believe that because the current model has worked for a while it will continue to keep working this way indefinitely.

When it comes to relationships, it causes us to expect people to be the same person they’ve always been and expect our relationship to always deliver exactly the same results. Growing people change. And people who are developing will often have to adjust friendships for where they are going when it’s different from where they’ve been.

Just like your body produces new skin cells and constantly sheds the old, things that are alive do the same. If we want them to stay alive in our hands we would do well to constantly push ourselves to realize how they are changing and growing. Otherwise, we risk holding something that once was alive and now has the telltale signs (and smell) of decay.

What’s in your hands?

Too many people are holding onto something while it rots. @ThisIsSethsBlog Share on X

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co. https://linktr.ee/JeremyJernigan