This morning I was leading the early morning Taize singing in the Sanctuary here at the Findhorn Foundation’s Cluny Hill College. This is a gathering of anyone who wants to join in singing and chanting for half an hour.
I boldly lead off with one chant, ‘Confitemini Domine’, getting the first note right, but the second one was way off — and could I get it right? No! And neither could anyone else! I was beginning to feel a bit hot and bothered. This is a lovely song when the four part harmonies come together, so I really wanted to do it. After a few false starts, eventually I heard someone singing the right tune, and picked it up from there — thank you, whoever you were!
Afterwards, someone said to me how they thought it was fine that I hadn’t known what to do; that in fact it had made the twenty or so of us come together, as we struggled to find the right note. And I remembered that when other leaders have also ‘made mistakes’ like this, that I have found it made them more human.
So this is the benefit of not being perfect — it can open up communication; encourage connection; emphasise that we are all in this life, learning together. No-one better or less than another (some just know the songs and others don’t!).
It takes courage to not know, to be in a place of uncertainty, to admit you are not perfect. But when someone does this, or admits they were wrong and apologises (like some politicians could be encouraged to do), most people find it in their hearts to hear them and forgive. It’s when we try to be something we’re not that trouble brews.