Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Knots, laces, and bonds

What is the best kind of relationships to establish with others? I’m thinking of three kinds: knots, laces, and bonds.

The purpose of a knot is to keep both ropes tight, stuck to each other and never let go. Spouses give knots and it is a positive thing, but in work environments, knots imprison people.

The purpose of laces is to unite two threads in beautiful patterns but to detach. When our relationships are like laces, each “thread” is free to unlace and follow a different path.

The purpose of a bond is to produce a transformative unity between parts. After bonding with someone, you will never be the same. Even if you stand apart from the other in space and time, you will never forget him or her. These are the relationships that last and keep you free.

There’s no competition between these relationships for being the best. Each has it’s own purpose in our lives as long as they reward us with sense and meaning.

If a knot becomes too tight, it takes a lot of time and effort to untie it. If a lace endures, once unlaced threads lose their flexibility. If a bond is broken, all we have is pieces. These outcomes help us choose our relationships.

Long-lasting relationships are knots.

Temporary relationships are laces.

Bonds are relationships uniting us forever.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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