Fast Company

Nonsense at Work

Make like rolling stone:

What does the saying ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ mean to you?

I grew up in a culture where calling someone a rolling stone was an insult. It meant that the person was incapable of holding onto one job for very long.

I have always understood that common sayings can have different meanings in different cultures and even across different generations.

That’s why I recognize that here in America calling someone a rolling stone could be a compliment. It could mean that you are willing to keep trying different things and different places until you succeed.

But it now seems that ‘willing to’ is being replaced by ‘having to’: The speed at which companies create and destroy jobs mean that you have no option but to be a rolling stone.

Fortunately, the Rolling Stones themselves have shown that even aging rolling stones can have ongoing success, if they keep on reinventing themselves.

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