In my post about ministers on Facebook my friend Karin commented saying:
I want that boundary between personal and professional to be preserved. I don’t necessarily want to read stuff like “OMG OMG it’s Saturday night and I still have to prepare this sermon”; it takes away from the Sunday morning experience. I felt like I lost something when I started reading details of a previous minister’s personal life.
I found that really interesting because it’s so different from how I see it! I WANT to see a minister angsting over not having a sermon finished. It helps me see them as human, and as if they are talking about something attainable rather than somebody “better than.”
It also helps when I see professors being human. One time a professor came into class, clearly exhausted, and she told us that she was having a rough time and apologized if she seemed a little off. She didn’t tell us what was going on – that would have been a clear crossing of the ever present line, but she let us know that she was off and that she recognized that. I think that was fabulous – “right, she’s not just a person who only exists on Mondays and Thursdays from 11:00-12:30 and on Wednesdays from 1:00-3:00. She has a life outside of teaching this class.”
Maybe this is my generation, maybe it is just my age, or maybe it is the groups I have placed myself in, but I do tend to question authority a lot. “Why is this person automatically “above” me? Does that piece of paper/title/organizational affiliation automatically grant them admiration? How do I know that their position of power is warranted?”
What makes me truly respect a person is not having a title or being a big-shot in some company, it is what they do with the power that society grants them. It doesn’t matter to me if I see those glimpses of them as human or normal – it helps, a lot, to make them accessible and open.
I don’t think that ministers, professors, or people in positions like that should lay their lives out there for everyone to see, but I do think that letting people in a little can let everyone see everyone else as human. I think it helps.