Saturday, August 01, 2009

Formality or Fear?

Recently, I have had a few conversations which have given me pause to think. I have had several people introduce themselves by there rank. I have known or been friendly with these people for some time. This was followed up by a conversation where a respected friend talked to me about how the fiber of the movement was being eroded because his officer (who by the way he calls by his first name) allowed the kids in his congregation use his first name when conversing with him.

I have also had people tell me that this formality issue is a matter of respect. I used to think that way. The more I see it, I believe it is a matter of pride. More than anything, it is not just a cultural thing, it is a, I believe a matter of deriving worth from position instead of personal relationship. I have people who have really no idea of my title or rank. They respect me and love me, because I love them! We talk about deep things.

I have other had people tell me that you have to have a title. You could not just use your name? I would imagine that would make you vulnerable.

I thought at first this was generational. I have found this idea of ultra formality has gone into generations younger than me.

I know that I am a major. It just does not shape who I am or make me a better person.

This is a shorter post. I think it is an important one though.

Is being formal important? Is it a matter of respect? Is it a matter of pride? Am I just missing the point?

What do you think?