It is hard to avoid hearing the claims and counter claims of politicians at national level across the world as they jostle for power or struggle to resolve the challenges of poverty and shortages. A change of Prime Minister in the UK seems to amplify these claims of what they can do and achieve.
What a relief it is, then, that ringing brings us down to earth, where we have to rely on what we can actually manage and achieve, in one another’s company. It is our ringing abilities that count, not our social or political status. I am reminded of St Paul pointing out to his listeners that there is no such things as Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female (Galatians 3.28), but everyone is equally open to receiving the love of God as part of the community of faith.
That does not mean we have to have the same abilities and skills. Rather we accept and respect one another as ringers. There is no hiding place when we miss a 3-4 dodge, or drop a backstroke when leading. It is clear to the rest of the band, even when it happens to a most accomplished peal conductor!
The other side of the equation (as a recent blog suggests most ringers are mathematically inclined) is that we can all actively recognise achievement and encourage each other, whatever our ringing ability or context. The recent National Youth Competition is one significant example of how mutual encouragement generates enjoyment and improved skills. We don’t all need to enter competitions, of course; at a local level we can support one another in gaining confidence, improvement and maturity in our ringing, replacing ambition for power with an open appreciation of all that we offer each other, as members of the same community.
Member of the Guild of Clerical Ringers