Updated: Aug 13, 2019
It's interesting to note that handpans were first called a "sound sculpture" (not a musical instrument). Perhaps the originators foresaw that labels lead to status. Simple by design, the Hang was a great equalizer, accessible to musicians and non-musicians alike.
There were no standards to meet, no rules to follow. You got to play. And the ability to play brings diversity of population, ideas and outcomes. Diversity leads to connection and forward-motion. The magic happens when participation happens.
So we must fight against our self-preservation instincts, against locking things down and saying who can and can't play, against making rules which are impossible to follow and standards which are impossible to meet so only the insiders get to stay as insiders.
In a river, as water comes in, water must also go out. If not, it becomes a stinky swamp.