Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Between Two Worlds

On a daily basis at work I deal with the digital world and many times the same can be said when conducting business for the lodge between meetings as many of the records, correspondences, and other tasks are largely completed on the computer. However, paper still prevails in the world of Freemasonry. That is the way it has always been and that is the way that things will remain in the future. And, unlike some people I know, I am perfectly fine with this.

Actually it is a rather nice respite from many of my daily tasks to revert back to the physical world. After all, there is a reality to paper that I still don’t get from the words and forms that shuffle across my desktop. And this is the world that I lived in for a few hours this week as I got caught up on many of the letters, forms, and cards that I have been meaning to complete and hand to the postman.

While there is usually a lot of catch up that needs to be done in the updating of records and other digital endeavors, there are times when things need to be done by hand. Even many of the things that I do complete on the computer need to exist in the physical world. This is especially true during weeks when I know there is a lodge meeting quickly approaching. After all, dues cards are still actual cards, many members still prefer to receive their notice in the mail, and because of fact that we don’t have computers or cell phones on during the meetings, all information must be present in black and white organized on my desk for easy access.

I know that there is now an entire generation that doesn’t understand this concept but there is something relaxing about turning off all those distractions from the outside world and focusing on what is going on within the walls of the lodge. However, in speaking with some of the recent petitioners this is actually appealing to them as well. Seems as though more and more people are noticing the information overload that exists just below our thumbs as we flip through the apps, pages, and emails on our cell phones. It has become an addictive habit rather than a convenience.

It is this dichotomy that helps me to appreciate the time during which I grew up and the way that I was raised. While exposed to computers (and typing) early on, I was given the option of writing all of my assignments by hand for about 95% of the classes during grade school. Even in college I would write early drafts and edit both creative and academic assignments by hand before typing the final draft. I have always lived between the physical and digital worlds and I am now at a point in life when I am really starting to appreciate both ways of life. Even if I still prefer pulling out a fountain pen, I definitely appreciate the conveniences of technology. After all, you are reading this on my blog.