Friday, December 7, 2012

It's All Connected

Watching the news, my wife and I came across 2 interestingly timed segments.

The first was of a woman, Lindsey Stone, who took a picture that went viral. She was standing next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, near a sign that read 'silence and respect.' The pic showed her yelling and holding up her middle finger. What was interesting was how people were calling for her to be fired. She works at a nursing home, who separated her actions from their core beliefs very quickly after the pic went viral.

My first thought was to ask how her job was connected to what she did on her own. I know this is a slippery slope and can be instantly asked of every president who made a crucial error in moral judgement that likely did not affect job performance. (Read:Bill Clinton) This question has been asked of sports stars as well. Tiger Woods, anybody?

And while I wondered why others might feel the need to call for Lindsey to lose her job, I couldn't help but imagine that the apology given was not going to make things easier for Lindsey or her friend that took the picture. 

Perhaps I should have turned off the news before things got worse. 

The very next segment was about the retiring of the long-time voice of Elmo, Kevin Clash. Accused of child abuse by multiple people now, he stepped away, acknowledging that the story was distracting from the purpose of Sesame Street and their goal of education. If only that was the biggest problem. 

If the first story left us wondering where professional and private lives collide, the second story certainly cemented the connections. In the first, i wondered whether Lindsey would be served well to face veterans who would be offended by her actions instead of being able to hide. But in the second, I stand together with anyone agreeing that Kevin should not be allowed to influence, much less be in proximity, to children. 

Just how connected is our professional and personal life? Perhaps there is a better question. Why did we ever think the two could be separated?

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