Thursday, March 18, 2010

Handling Things Together

Last week we were repairing an old wall at Cleabarrow farm near Windermere. Martyn, Joe, Pat and Tony, all members of the DSWA of UK carried this heavy lintel stone over to the new opening we had created in the stone wall. They placed it over the opening to finish the top section of 'hog hole' we were building. Everyone had different 'skill levels' but the job got done smoothly and efficiently.

Handling a big stone requires that everybody works together. If one person lifts too much, someone else will end having to work harder to compensate for the imbalance, while another's efforts to help lift may become redundant. It is important to share the load equally. Cooperation involves not so much duplicating or copying what others do, but finding where there is both a place and opportunity to support the weight, and then simply fitting in. Each hand has a unique responsibility to balance the load without tipping up everyone else. There is danger of hurting someone if there isn't communication. There is danger of hands or people getting crushed if someone lets his end down (or lifts it too high) without telling people. Deferring to oneanother helps too. This isn't the place for hands to show off or compete or insist that they are more officially qualified. This isn't the place for too many hands either, no matter how good their intentions.

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