Monday, December 20, 2010

Mr. Speaker, Would You Please Dry Up?

The guy doesn’t just shed a dignified tear or two. He snorts and blows. He needs people on tissue detail.  

This really doesn’t need to be a discussion on whether people can cry in public. Our emotions can occasionally overwhelm any of us.  But when leaders stand up to speak to their people, they need to show strength. Even if they want to show some vulnerability, they should look strong while they’re doing it.  

I hate preachers that make tears part of the show.  I’m sure they have it marked in their notes or teleprompters when they should turn on the waterworks.  Every time I hear someone start with the sniffling and the wavering voice, I want to stand up and tell him to shut down the waterworks and go back to work.   

Am I insensitive and heartless?


I cry a lot. I have a reservoir of tears that break loose at the damndest times—movies, personal conversations, grand openings of strip malls.  

But when I preach at church, I am supposed to minister to the people, not demand that they watch me collapse emotionally. At a funeral, I’m there to help the grieving cope, not be in as bad a shape as they are.  When I counsel someone, I’m not supposed to interrupt them to reveal my own vulnerability. If I need help, I’ll get it somewhere else at another time.

I can’t say I’ve NEVER cried in the pulpit. But I’ve never boohooed like the Speaker of the House, and I’ve always gotten it back under control as quickly as I could, so I could do my job.  

The Speaker can jolly well dry his tears and do his work, too.


  1. I think it's called professionalism...or lack thereof!


  2. To be fair, I don't know what's going on with the Speaker, but I know a lot of preacher cry to put on a show or are demanding that the audience be their therapist.