NEVER LET ‘EM SEE YOU SWEAT!
I am not sure where that came from. I want to think some deodorant commercial, but I can be wrong. You are probably thinking, “What a way to start a blog post!” And I suppose you may be right, but there really is a method to my madness.
LET. ME. TELL. YOU. A. STORY.
I am probably close to twice as old as many of you are. For your information that number is considered on the downside of life’s good things. For you who are really curious, I am 59 and won’t be 60 until October 9th. (Write that down. Money “for retirement” is accepted). So for all you who are mathematically-challenged (as I am) that means if you are 30 or under, I am twice as old as you. My closest competitor is Ed, who is actually older than me. I’ve also just been told that this man is close to my age. Since I am twice as old as many of you, that should translate into being twice as wise. Dreams and illusions never stop.
Okay, seriously, enough of that nonsense. Why do I say that? Are you ready? I was raised in a church and ultimately a leader environment in which the first phrase I used could have been applied. Let me translate it another way:
DON’T BE REAL. COVER UP. DON’T SHOW WEAKNESSES. PUT ON A FRONT THAT ALL IS WELL. NEVER CRY. TRY NOT TO SHOW EMOTION.
Sounds sort of sick don’t you think? Do you know how hard it was to maintain a facade? I remember going to the hospital once in just a pull-over collared shirt. I identified myself as a pastor and overheard one of the ladies say to the other, “Boy, they sure don’t dress like they used to.” That was back in the late 70s! I wonder what those ladies would be thinking now. But in reality, dress is minor. What I really like about this current generation is the emphasis they place on being real. I realize that approach is fraught with danger and I have seen it. But there is tremendous value in being authentic. Bob Goff says it well:
I used to be afraid that if I was authentic I might take a hit, but now I know that being real means I will take a hit.
The sad fact is there will always be people who try to fit us into their mold. Pastors. Educators. Engineers. You name it. Society, while not saying so, is big on puppeteering. Frankly, these days (and those I have remaining), I refuse to
be a puppet conform to someone’s standard of what I should be, look, or act like. I figure Jesus has first dibs on my life. The Bible says “don’t be conformed, but be transformed.” I like that a whole lot better.
Do you have trouble being a puppet? Do you find yourself sort of expected to be one? What is your reaction to being one?
This is another post in the series on Love Does by Bob Goff.