The world is made up of bonds – physical bonds and chemical bonds. The earth, the air, water, plants, animals – everything is made up of bonds. There can be no life without these bonds. But life with these bonds alone cannot be a life worth living.
The most beautiful bond is the bond between two beings – two humans, two animals, an animal and a human. It cannot be scientifically understood or explained, it can only be felt.
No one can claim to devise a process to create this bond with certainty. More often than not an artificial process to create such a bond only creates an artificial bond.
Although humanity has learned to create such artificial processes and also to honour such artificial bonds, there is no substitute for a naturally, inexplicably created bond.
Almost all of us are overwhelmed when we witness a bond – a bond between a patient and a doctor, between two friends, between a man and his pet – which transcends material give and take and that inspires and evokes the spirit called life.
At the same time quite a few of us are not able to savour and safeguard the bonds that involve our own selves. We often ignore them, abuse them lose them and then repent the loss. Also a number of times we come possessive and end up straining or even losing them.
May be we don’t understand the nature of these bonds. There may be a number of reasons why bonds wither away. I would like to discuss some of them.
I definitely don’t claim to be an expert nevertheless I shall share my views on the same.
I believe true bonds stand on the pillars of
- Mutual faith
- Sharing of joy
- Unity against adversity.
I also believe that true bonds:
- Are Timeless
A mother meeting her daughter after years would have the warmth which is unfazed by the passage of time. In fact it is even possible that this bond may have grown stronger. Running into a childhood friend after long may make one wonder whether they were actually away from each other. A true bond once created exists for a lifetime and beyond.
- Transcend Physical distances
A bond between two beings remains even when they are separated by physical distances. Out of sight out of mind is characteristic of an artificial bond. A person who is away from his/her motherland will testify. Two siblings or two friends separated by thousands of miles remain united by that unseen bond.
- Have the ability to survive adversities
I am reminded of a cliché – a friend in need is a friend indeed. A bond that comes apart at the sight of difficult times is not a bond at all. In other words, tough times are a test of a bond. In fact some of the best bonds are created and discovered in the times of adversity.
Having shed some basic light on the nature of bonds, I would now talk about the basic human nature that may corrode these bonds.
Need for physical evidence: We are guided by the doctrine if something exists it must have some proof. We draw boundaries, we draw maps, we examine using microscope and telescope – all in search of evidence. In the physical realm, it’s all good, but when it is applied to a bond, it can be insidious. Physical display of a bond for the sake of evidence seems to be quite self demeaning. I can understand the symbolism of objects like a ring. But when symbolism is mistaken for physical evidence it can only harm a bond.
Desire to own: Whatever is mine should be known to be mine. There should not be any ambiguity in the ownership claim of any property. Again when a bond is seen in this light, it can be damaging. Many a sibling rivalry is rooted in the desire to own the parent – exclusively.
Desire to control: Right from the channel on the TV to the seat on a flight; we want to control it all. Domestic affairs, professional affairs everything should be in my control because I know the best. When a bond is infested with this outlook it starts losing its strength. When a mother tries to ‘control’ the choice of a grown up ward, she is not helping the bond.
We don’t ask for evidence of oxygen in the air that we breathe, if we are alive, oxygen must be there. We don’t try to own the Sun, it will anyways give its sunshine and warmth. We don’t try to control the direction of breeze, it will be futile.
Such is the human bond. If nature has blessed us with a bond, let us learn to respect it, enjoy it and save it from the corrosive effect of the above factors. This is because a bond can be a huge source of strength and inspiration which we all need to enjoy life.
The irony is that although most of us hate to give physical evidence of the bond, and love to have lot of freedom, we have different expectations from others. Also, we tend to enjoy lot of casual associations because we feel a sense of freedom and no need to prove anything, but when it comes to the bonds that matter we behave differently. Actions and behaviour that we approve in case of people with whom we are loosely connected, are censured in case of people with whom we share a close bond.
In this fast changing and rapidly evolving world, bonds need – more and not less – freedom to bloom.
Thanks for your precious time. Your feedback is highly welcome.