The Pigeon Model
As a young boy growing up in an era where computers and technology were yet to gain a foothold on humanity, games and activities required a lot of creative thinking. Thankfully, I had brothers who shared in my quest for adventure and exploration and with them I got involved in a number of indoor and outdoor activities. Among the many things we did was owning a wide range of pets. One of those pets, the pigeon, I learnt a valuable lesson from; that grew with me until this day.
The pigeon, as a pet, is low-maintenance but what is even more charming is its loyalty. It didn’t need much to keep the pigeon happy, healthy and home without caging it. Prior to the first few days where its flight feathers are plucked and it is caged in order to get used to its surroundings – this usually takes between 4 to 6 days from experience – the pigeon didn’t need further convincing to return home after everyday’s flight. As a matter of fact, sometimes it returned home with friends. A testimony of how comfortable it sensed home to be.
Coming of age to be in emotional relationships, I found the lesson from the pigeon to present a very valuable model that could be adopted in relationships. A lot of people seem to be of the mentality that couples need to stick together almost all the time for the relationship to be considered stable or healthy. Far from saying sharing moments or being with a partner as frequent as possible is a killer but sometimes giving them their space (one not influenced by misunderstanding or malice) is enough to reignite faded sparks and create the “I-miss-you effect” which eventually builds up the desire to want to re-converge with the said partner after all is said and done.
We must understand that our partners had a personal life that must not end (unless bad for the relationship, of course) in the entrant of a relationship, as that was the source of initial attraction. Everybody needs their personal space sometimes, everybody needs their alone time. Like Oscar Wilde puts it in one of his famous quotes: “I think it is very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not defined by another person.” Indeed everybody needs to fly alone sometimes, talk to themselves, reflect, ponder, fight their own demons and by so doing, know exactly what role their partner can play in helping them stay grounded for the benefit of the relationship. Like the pigeon, we must let them fly and be with themselves while also believing in their loyalty to come back home after each flight.
For every flight they take and return, it creates a sense of reassurance and belief in the relationship and also makes you want to make home as comfortable as possible. And like some of my pigeons used to bring their friends back home, your partner would be proud to broadcast your relationship and show its comfort to all willing to see. On the other hand, I also tried to rear an African Cuckoo. I kept it in the cage for some days, fed it with good fruits and seeds and after I opened its cage that was the last I saw of it. When you come across this type of partner, know they don’t deserve you. Although may be hard to take, dust your shoulder and move on.