A Ring

People wear rings for various reasons.  Some rings are ornamental while others are decorative.  A wedding ring or wedding band, is supposed to symbolise the love or feelings between two person.  Similarly, rings may be given to others in exchange to celebrate or cement mutual feelings for each other.

What was equally interesting is that while the rings are meant to celebrate a happy emotion or link between two, these rings can often be stressful.  Ever misplaced your ring?  Dropped it somewhere?  In the pool?  While washing the dishes etc?  If you have, you would know how stressful it can be.  How we can become flustered and panicky all so suddenly.  Why, even as you read this article, you may find yourself reaching out for your finger, just to be sure it is there.  We are worried because it means something to us.  We also worry because of the inevitable conflict that may arise when your other half start asking about it.  The very thing that symbolises love and happiness can become a source of stress and panic.

Now consider yourself on the other side of the counter.  If your love one loses the wedding band or a special ring you gave, would you get upset?  Is it right?  Should we get upset over it?  Is it worth the while?  On the other hand, if we do not get upset over the loss of the ring, would the other party start wondering if it even mattered to us at all.  If we get upset, we make him or her all stressed up over losing the ring.  If we don’t, we may risk appearing like we don’t care.  How do we strike a balance?

Striking a balance may be the hardest thing and is probably different for different people, but perhaps it can be reached with communication.  Perhaps it is important for couples to talk about such things, as ridiculous as it may seem.  Afterall, you don’t end a candle-light dinner with conversation like “Say, would you get upset if I ever lose my ring?”.  But I think it is important, ‘cos it helps to draw up realistic expectations of each other.  And it can be ring, or a watch.  Or something.

But this is the easy part.  The harder and more important part is for both to recognise that the ring is but a symbol and not to attribute to it more than it deserve.  Try as we might, sometimes it happens, and it gets misplaced.  We get upset usually because we infer that we do not treasure the love or feelings that the ring is supposed to symbolise.  But is that always true?  I say, free ourselves from this attachments to rings, even if we cannot be free from suffeRing yet! 😉  Be mindful not to lose it when wearing a ring, and be forgiving if our partner loses theirs.  Then the ring is meaningful.  Then the ring indeed symbolises love, whether when it is around or not.  For at the very least, shouldn’t love be forgiving and not petty?

For me, I’m pretty done with wearing rings.  So I have one chance less to offend others and one thing lesser to be worried about.  Also, others can know that I am concerned for their welfare and happiness without me having to wear some ring to symbolise it.  Good thing
isn’t it?  Else you will see monks and nuns with rings all over!

So, how many rings do you have?  How do they serve you?  Or they you serve them?


Did a mass correction of “loose” to “lose” … thanks to a kind someone! Thanks! 😉

1 thought on “A Ring”

  1. Dear Venerable,

    Thanks for the wonderful article. I would like to suggest another reason why people are so attached to their wedding rings. A wedding band typically cost about $200 – $300 (the favorite platinum kind). Some people even wear their diamond ring to work, such as the 0.5 karat or 1 karat kind, that worth around $500 – $3000. Hence the replacement cost is extremely high even if the person is not attached to that particular ring. It is difficult to explain to other people how you are so careless as to drop a $200 ring somewhere as well. Therefore I think people would put in great effort to recover the ring as far as possible due to its materialistic value.

    There are also some who are very attached to the ring because the person the ring represents may not be around. The person could be overseas, or the person could have died or left. Losing the ring threatens to erase the last bits of memory about that person. Hence the struggle to recover the ring symbolizes the struggle of the ring holder not to forget about the person. Personally however if I have a ring that is this important to me, I would probably keep it in a safe rather than wear it.

    May you be well and happy, Venerable.

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