R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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.

Advertisements

2 Comments to “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”

  1. “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.”

    I would say that depends very much on just what ministers let everyone see. . .

    No?

  2. Hey, I just saw this post. Now that you’re local, I’d love to have a conversation about it sometime. I think it does have a lot to do with one’s relationship to authority. Being raised as a female in Asian culture, as well as being a Myers-Briggs SJ, I tend to 1) give a lot of automatic respect and power to authority figures and 2) believe that it is my job to take care of everyone. One of my biggest growth areas has been learning to recognize when those figures don’t have the wisdom or intelligence that I impart to them and to reduce their influence on me. But I draw tremendous comfort from believing that there are people in my life who will take care of ME, and part of that means not exposing me to all their fears and insecurities to a degree that makes me doubt their strength and feel like I have to take care of them.

    Incidentally, my husband also tends to distrust authority and his view of ministers sharing their personal lives is much closer to yours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: