TECHNOLOGY IN READING ROOMS
I’ve been there. When a new form of technology is presented to me to use, there’s a hesitation, due to unfamiliarity. “But the way it’s done now works” I think to myself. But if the fear isn’t challenged, there’s not growth.
We’ve all been there, I’m sure. But we do have a choice. We may be clinging to a false belief that only people of a certain age can grasp technology or we don’t see the purpose of it, especially in Reading Rooms. We can keep doing things the way they’ve been done or learn something new.
As it is with using technology in the Reading Rooms (RR). What is it about technology that paralyzes us with fear, not allowing us to move forward? Is it the unfamiliarity? Do we think technology has special powers that are beyond our control? Do we think it’s unnecessary?
Technology could be viewed as a tool that allows everyone to do a job quicker, more efficiently, and frees us up to do more important things, like pray for the RR community and the world!
This approach can be applied to using technology in the RRs. You can ask yourself, why do we need technology in the RR? What are the benefits? How would Mrs. Eddy view technology? Would she use the technology available today? Mrs. Eddy had the latest technology in her household and if she was with us today, there’s no doubt in my mind that she would want the latest products in her household and in RRs.
Mastering, say the POS (point of sale) software can bring such joy, and it can accelerate the pace at which we can receive Mrs. Eddy’s eternal message. Mrs. Eddy writes about modern inventions: “This age is reaching out towards the perfect Principle of things; is pushing towards perfection in art, invention, and manufacture. It will never do to be behind the times in things most essential.” (Misc. Writings 232:6-11). And someone asked Mrs. Eddy about the pursuit of modern material inventions. She answered him ”Oh, we cannot oppose them. They are preparing the way for us” (My. 345:26; 30). Preparing the way for us! That doesn’t sound opposing.
What are the tools of technology that could be operated in your RR? Would you meet with resistance (from yourself and or others?) Technology tools found most useful to RR’s could be: Concord online, JSH, computers, printers, Square POS (Point of Sale System), and perhaps a computer monitor in the window.
Does your RR need Square? You can ask yourself this question. What are the benefits of having technology in your RR? First of all, as quoted above, it is keeping with Mrs. Eddy’s message of “keeping abreast of the times”. Why is this important? What would your impression be if you walked in to a retail store you enjoyed visiting frequently but they were doing all of their sales by hand and didn’t have a credit card reader? Would you think the store would be “keeping abreast of the times”?
Even if we prefer tried and true methods of making sales by hand, we still need to be ready for our customers, metaphysically and physically. We need to be ready to support their research (i.e. with JSH or Concord), answer their questions, address their fears, and yes, sell them RR products.
Just like anything else in life, if we master the fear of something we don’t understand, it encourages us to grow spiritually and frees us to best serve the community.
These are just some ideas I’ve been wrestling with and would enjoy hearing your thoughts!