Is it possible to be one of the Cognoscenti without being one of the Condescending?
The quick answer is OF COURSE! The honest answer for most of us is…the WHAT?
In college, I double majored in Marketing and Spanish. I’ve always had a love for words and have been accused, on more than one occasion, of being quite verbose. Good writers and speakers pick words—like picking vegetables. Great writers and speakers choose words—like a chef choosing the perfect meat, fruit, or vegetable for their dish. I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly good writer or speaker, but I love language. So, I have had Word of the Day calendars, emails, and the like over the years.
Today’s word was cognoscenti. I didn’t know what it meant (or how to properly pronounce it), but I had an idea based on the word roots I could pick out. According to the Oxford Dictionary, cognoscenti are:
People who are considered to be especially well informed about a particular subject.
That’s a big word for a relatively simple concept.
What Does that Have to Do with Church Tech?
Those of us that have worked with any form of church tech (audio, video, servers, web and social) could be considered the cognoscenti of tech. We are passionate and learn as much as we can about technology. New technological feats can cause us to “geek out.” While we have our daily and weekly responsibilities, we also get called upon for almost anything tech related. This could be anything from troubleshooting a co-worker’s computer, slate or mobile device to answering the same question about our content management system, again, for what seems like the 53rd time.
Why do those around us have such a hard time with technology?
Why do we have to:
- Fix that Word document—again.
- Correct the formatting on the website—again.
- Find those lost documents—again.
- Explain and demonstrate the audio recording and MP3 encoding process—again.
We have taken the time to learn all of this stuff.
Seriously, It IS NOT THAT HARD!
It is so easy to become condescending to those around us. We get technology and don’t understand when others around us don’t get it. This comes out in our body language (the eye roll, sigh, or shaking our heads) or in our language (Isn’t this the document I fixed last time?). All this adds tension to our relationships.
We forget to show the same grace others show us.
I may know tech, but I get anxious when I have to cook anything that’s much beyond heat and serve—just ask my wife. Yet she shows grace and walks me through it patiently.
I may know tech, but I don’t dare work on my vehicles. Pete shows me grace as he asks me to explain “that sound” again.
I may know tech, but I don’t work on major plumbing issues in my house. My neighbor, Keith, a plumber by trade, shows me grace when he bails me out of another plumbing issue.
It’s ok to be part of the Cognoscenti and we can do it without being part of the Condescending.
Show the grace you’ve been given.
[Book lovers photo via Glen Noble at Unsplash]