How Loose is your Knot?

My son was trying to tie my hands playfully. It was his way of punishing the “bad guy.” The effort he was putting in got me thinking. We all tie knots in life. Any sailor worth his salt will tell you there are several ways to tie knots. A stopper knot, a clove hitch, a rolling hitch, etc. My aim is not to make you into a sailor but instead, use the analogy for life.

Knowingly or unknowingly we all tie knots in life. To things, people, places, food, even your favorite street food vendor. You would not have it any other way. We could easily classify these as a well-done sailors knot. Your life may not depend on it, but the bonds seem like they do. The word “bestie” is often thrown around for a good friend, someone I suppose you would say has formed a mutual close knot with you. Yet, we all know that nothing is permanent, not even life itself. Surely someday, your favorite vendor will be gone, or perhaps you will be. Why tie knots in that case or at least a strong one?

Humans live in a strange duality. They know nothing is permanent and yet they do not wish to live every day as though it were. You, therefore, seek anchors in life, one that makes you believe in the infallibility of life or at least forget for a while. My best friend will be so, forever. My family will always be around; even the earth will exist as it does today. It makes you forget your impermanence.

There is a catch though. Stray too much on the side of infallibility, and you will tie tight knots to impermanent things. Material things for example. When the time comes to loosen the ties, you will find yourself anchored. Is the trick of life knowing what to tie yourself too but also equally how much?


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.