Can we just be human?
On the surface it may seem rhetorical, or perhaps an impossible proposition, but let us reflect on it for a moment.
I read somewhere recently that Pope Francis said that if he tried to change who he is he would make a fool of himself – or something similar to that. Now, think about it. He is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a man of personal humility and compassion. That is who he is in his core. That is what we relate to.
Society has some views of what – not necessarily who – a pope is. How a pope dresses (may be red shoes), how he speaks (like a diplomat trying not to step on toes), even how he walks.
Presenting a public image is not confined to any single person, group, vocation or profession. However, quite often, that public persona is removed from who the person is.
Perhaps you have heard a journalist remark how an individual sounded or appeared presidential even though he or she has not made a decision to run for president. So a candidate would talk, walk or laugh differently from the same person when not campaigning.
I remember one parish pastor who was truly gifted with humor. That gift made him who he was and people could relate to him through that gift. One day he mentioned – during the sermon – that a parishioner had said to him: “You cannot be making those jokes! You are a pastor!” He never made dirty jokes or something like that; he simply had this gift for humor. That was who he was. But, that society had a view of what a pastor is, and the two were not the same.
Often we get so sucked up into what we are, what we should be and appear to be, that we miss being who we really are – human. We obsess – subconsciously – with the image of professional, scholar, clergy, counselor, diplomat, preacher, warrior and what have you, and overshadow our being.
At the end of the day everything we need is already given. Our being – being one with God and with one another – is the greatest and indeed the all sufficient gift for all life.
Imagine going back to this principle. Imagine living the authenticity of humanity.
What kind of world do you see?