When the Bell Tolls

RitualsThere’s a bell in the pizzeria: i’m sat at the bar, right across the counter from the team making the dough and assembling the pizzas. When a customer leaves, they ring the bell and drop a tip in the jar. Not always: many don’t. Some rings are quiet: some loud and flamboyant. But when the bell tolls, the guys give up a big cheer.

I ask them where the ritual came from: nobody knows. A ritual linked to the place.

The community is transient: constantly changing, as these things do in small towns and students come and go. It’s not a sight unique to America. But the rituals, the ambience, somehow they stay.

This relationship between place, people and ritual is fascinating: the ritual is not owned by one individual, but rather perpetuated through tribal wisdom and knowledge. Fragile, yet permanent. Not a feature of design, but rather emergence. And how many teams celebrate so visibly when their performance reviews come in? I guess maybe the bell is particularly authentic as tribute: both financial and also culinary. There’s a real pride here: i can see it in the way the guy stretches and tosses the dough. Silently competing. There’s nothing half hearted here.

Rituals are important: bonding, cohesive, persistent. What rituals do you see at work, and how many are celebrated so loudly?

About julianstodd

Author and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the Social Age. I’ve written ten books, and over 2,000 articles, and still learning...
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2 Responses to When the Bell Tolls

  1. Pingback: This Week’s Links « Timothy Siburg

  2. Pingback: The Shadow of Ritual | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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