R is not a small man. He's 6'5" tall and could easily be a lineman. I won't reveal his weight here, but let's just say he likes my cooking. Anyway, one thing I've noticed is that people tend to take jabs at him, physically and emotionally, without really thinking twice about it. It seems that the assumption is that because he is big, he can take it. In reviewing my own assumptions, I find that I, too, am prone to think that someone who is big could take a hit better than someone small. And, physically, that may be true, but emotionally there's not really grounds for that.
After receiving a few emotional blows myself in the last few weeks, I've wondered why it is that certain people have few reservations about emotional low blows against the pastor. And all I came up with was that my position lends itself to *big* thinking. I mean, people see me as *big* because of my position and so, therefore, I can take a hit more readily than the next guy (or gal). (If you have trouble making the mental leap, think of the president, or any other official...their position has been interpreted as implying free reign for anyone and everyone to take cheap shots and pot shots. Not that they shouldn't be held accountable, but people easily move beyond that without hesitation).
I do think that people in public positions need to have a reasonable degree of "thick skin" in order to deal with the day to day demands of such work without taking things too personally. At the same time, I don't think it's reasonable for people to throw low blows (emotionally, spiritually, professionally) with the expectation that one should just take it.
I guess what I'm saying is that we should be gentle with people, regardless of their size or their stature or their position.