The trapeze artistes were doing what they do best, keeping the crowd spellbound with their death-defying leaps and acrobatics.
Spectators were gaping open-mouthed as they watched, stunned by the gravity-defying acts. But they were oblivious to the net that was stretched much below their line of vision. It was stretched tautly to arrest any misjudgement. It was visible only from above as the gymnasts flung themselves from dizzying heights, to be caught by a colleague in the nick of time.
The net was totally self-effacing, and could hardly be called a participant in that wondrous spectacle of human stunts. But no matter how much it underplayed itself, the net was, without doubt, very crucial for the entire act to unfold smoothly.
The presence of that net merely eased the nerves rather than improve the skills. The visual cue of that net eased the grip of every performer, as letting go of the bar or a colleague's hand was as important as holding on tight in this acrobatic orchestra.
Many achievers in life very often steal the spotlight as they go about their lives, prompting onlookers to stare in utter disbelief. Their confidence, poise, their ability to take risks and their tremendous gumption for life – all these appear enviable indeed. Very rarely is mention made of that invisible net that gave these achievers the liberty to just take off. It provided, almost unseen, a kind of security which initiated and propelled them towards their achievements. The uniqueness of that person or force is his unobtrusiveness and being virtually a non-participatory observer. Very often, involvement with a dear one or concern for that person prompts interference or meddlesome behaviour. This concern at times becomes counter-productive as it can stifle and even extinguish the spirit of exuberance.
Love and concern for a dear one often is like walking a tight rope. Or it could be like knowing the art of holding a snake as do trained herpetologists. The grip should be loose enough so as not to frighten the animal and tight enough to prevent it from escaping. Anything less than or more than that optimum hold and you have lost the plot. Concern or love that restricts you can never be conducive to your growth. Very often, extreme form of love becomes an exercise of ownership or control. And getting the object of one's affection to yield, resorting to a form of emotional blackmail, is quite commonplace. Having a very magnanimous mindset that releases, rather than holds captive is what true relationships are all about. If you love someone, set him free – an often quoted line sums it up beautifully.
An important aspect of nurturing involves the ability to let go. Like the proverbial haemoglobin that carries oxygen. The selection of this complex molecule to transport oxygen to the tissues is not because it binds very strongly to oxygen, but more importantly, its ability to release oxygen at the opportune place and time.
The most genuine of relations are the ones that never need constant reaffirmation. They are ones that transcend dependence, and never beg reciprocity. They remain uncharacteristically somewhere in the background, and serve to stimulate and encourage silently, always bordering on selflessness -- till that day of reckoning when the trapeze artistes would perform without that net. That would be the defining moment and to disappear totally would be the net's only salvation.