Letting others flourish means not clipping their wings

Letting others flourish means not clipping their wings

John 20:11-18. “Noli me tangere”, Jesus said to Mary Magdalene

It is more convenient to control, especially when we, as leaders, have power over others (e.g., students, subordinates, team members). In the classic functions of management (POLC), “controlling” is a very important function in charge of monitoring and setting key performance indicators. In a sense, it is easier to cling onto others and impose our will on them.

However, being clingy, controlling, or even micromanaging can only go so far. It is like clipping the wings of birds and putting them in cages. Yes, they are there, within our sight. But are we letting them embrace their own destiny and flourishing?

It can also be the reverse, as in today’s gospel. Mary Magdalene clings onto Jesus; not wanting to let Him go and leave them again. In a way, we can experience this when we have to say goodbye to our friends, colleagues, or mentors who have to leave our organizations.

Maybe this is where attachment and true love begin to untangle — overattachment (as in the overly attached girl meme if you still remember!) prevents the loved one from soaring and seeking one’s unique way towards flourishing. True love is unconditional, as in not contingent on attachment.

Is this what Jesus talked about when He mentioned that sons and daughters should leave their parents and friends? Maybe the lesson is that to be clingy is to be selfish; to let go is to be loving.


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