The right click!
by Terry Camsey, Major –
This “old dog” doesn’t necessarily like all “new tricks” but, sometimes, they are necessary to survive and thrive! The challenge, of course, is that in the realm of, say technology, changes come so fast and furious that we can hardly keep up.
At one time I decided that I’d stick with videotapes and forget about DVDs. That resolution didn’t stick for long and, before I knew it, I was buying them. I’m not at the iPod stage yet, and I am by no means sure I shall move in that direction, but I guess that even those are becoming passé as we see units that will give you the Internet as well as choice of music, all kinds of communications, telephone, etc.—all without wires!
The computer has become a necessity for me and has been very helpful in preparing Power Point presentations, graphics and a host of other useful things. I love the flexibility concerning layout, spelling and grammar checking, choice of fonts and type size. But the other day I was trying to load some photographs and transfer them to another website. I found out (with advice from someone more knowledgeable) that there are things that I can achieve with a right click of the mouse that I never dreamed of. It was, as some would say, an epiphany.
Do you believe that God can speak to us through what appear to be coincidences? I do. Part of my methodology for hopefully keeping these columns fresh is to make notes of things that I believe might be worth considering in the future…and to keep those notes together in a pile for possible future use. I was reminded of one of those notes in reading Bob Docter’s article in the 25th year celebratory issue of New Frontier.
The note was regarding something I had seen some time ago in one of the corps I attended. I had noted that those taking up the offering for my aisle were both dressed in similar uniforms. I was reminded of the value put on the wearing of uniform as a social equalizer. But one of the wearers of that uniform was a recovering addict from an ARC and the other was not. I wondered whether, out of uniform, that seeming social equalization would be a reality.
Bob Docter wrote this: “Newcomers become slowly immersed in a new and different culture. It takes time to acculturate. It takes one-on-one relationships—notice that’s plural. It takes informal teaching. Socialization, acceptance of the group—and it’s highly individual. I’m not sure we are really good at this.”
My sense is that people are most comfortable with others who share their culture, values and interests and, I guess, that is why some groups are difficult to penetrate by other who do not have the same outlook on life. And the longer a group is together, the more difficult to penetrate since there is such a shared history among its members. It doesn’t even have to be a long shared history! As auxiliary captains, Beryl and I were attached to a cadet session (now as officers) for some reunion event. They made us welcome right at the start, but—when in a short time—they started recounting events from their cadet days, we felt immediately excluded. Why? Because we didn’t share that history!
Problems can arise when a congregation is more exclusive than inclusive. Yet, when God sends his body on earth new “members” (parts of the body), we cannot say—or even imply—“We don’t need you.” If we do, it’s no wonder that such “members” starved of nourishment, tend to drop off!
But, looking even deeper (and wider), we may face an even greater challenge related to cultural differences between people. It used to be said (and possibly is still in some circles), “The minority should be like the majority.” What happens when the minority becomes the majority, as in many communities it shortly will be? Will those holding that opinion still stick to it? Is Bob Doctor’s statement as applicable on the grander scale?
One thing is certain—we all need to feel that we belong, whether on the smaller corps, scale, the grander divisional scale, or the even grander territorial scale. In short, we all need to belong to what is for us—the right clique!