In a corner of our kitchen there is a small basket. We use it for fruits. It has a round shape and it’s made of straws. It can hold bananas, avocados, oranges or apples. Usually, we put them on top of each other.
The other day I wanted to take out a banana from this pile of fruits. But the banana was underneath a pile of apples. I carefully took the apples, detached one banana, and then put the pile of apples back. When I started, there were only bananas in the pile. So I arranged one apple near another and the pile grew slowly. I did it slow, deliberately. I didn’t know why, but I felt something important will grow out of this apparently benign operation.
The topmost apple was sitting on only three contact points, made by the three apples underneath it.
Suddenly, I found this almost magical. If it weren’t for those three apples, the topmost one couldn’t stay there. Couldn’t be suspended in the air. It needed the support of the others.
I think I sat a few dozens of seconds looking at those apples.
The Interdependence Of Things
And then I realized why I was so baffled. We always want a certain thing to happen, just like the topmost apple. We know what we want, we see it and we want it now. But, almost always, we don’t have the supporting points.
We just want the topmost position. The best career. The best house. The best relationship. We know perfectly how it will look. Just like the apple on top of the pile. It was at the perfect level. Only it just couldn’t be there alone, it needed the other three apples underneath it.
So, we can’t have that career, that house, that perfect relationship just like this, out of thin air. We need to build it. And by that I don’t necessarily mean to strive for it, I don’t think it’s fundamentally a difficult task to find the perfect house or the perfect relationship. On the contrary, actually.
By “building it” I mean something very subtle: the interdependence if things. That foundation is made of many, many things, all interconnected. Just like the relationship is made of many, many things, all interconnected.
In my pile, the support was made by 3 apples. But I could have had any other fruits: pears, peaches, prunes. It didn’t really matter that the support was made of apples. But it mattered that the support was there.
It’s the same thing with what we want. We need to have the connecting “fruits”, so we can climb on top of what we desire. It won’t happen out of thin air. It needs consistency.
The Missing Links
For a second, I imagined the apple on top of the basket, at the same level, but WITHOUT the other apples underneath it. For a microsecond, it would have stay there. But then, without the support, it would have fallen down.
That’s exactly what happen when we rush to do things forgetting this interdependence: we have something, but we have it for a very little time. If it’s not correctly built, it will collapse.
Suppose we want a very fulfilling sexual relationship. We know how it looks. We know the type of woman (or man) we want. It’s like we already know the position of the topmost apple. So we start searching and, at some point, we find something that looks exactly like what we want. So we start the sexual relationship (or, in other words, we put the apple at the level where we want it to be). For a microsecond (let’s say, for a night, for a few days, or weeks) the relationship works magically. But then, alas, it collapses.
And we’re sad. We hurt. We don’t know why that happened. We were so clear about what we needed, we found it and yet, it was stolen from us.
It was “stolen” because we didn’t have the support. We didn’t have the interdependence.
In this specific case, of the relationship, we didn’t know each other. We didn’t take the time to understand each other, to grow a friendship. The apple of sexual fulfillment stayed in the air only for a few nights, or weeks. It was not supported by the other “fruits”.
But it’s not enough just to have some fruits. The thing is to have those fruits BEFORE we expect the biggest fulfillment. We have to build up, fruit by fruit, our nice pile of support points for our relationship. If we built it carefully, the pile will stay. It will give support for the topmost apple. If not, it will collapse.
Nothing is out there “by itself”. Nothing exists without some foundation, some support, something that will act as a cause for it.
As I was slowly getting out from the kitchen, I started to eat my banana. The taste was good.