With Pope Francis’ in the US even as I write this, I thought it was only fitting to share some of his thoughts on happiness which I find relevant to every one regardless of religious beliefs.
Pope Francis on Happiness
1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”
2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”
3. “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.
4. A healthy sense of leisure. The Pope said “consumerism has brought us anxiety”, and told parents to set aside time to play with their children and turn of the TV when they sit down to eat.
5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.
7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’”
8. Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”
9. Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing,” the Pope said.
10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.
Courtesy of the Catholic News Service.
Peace is always proactive, yes, indeed. As Jesus said, “I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” We must stand for our Christian beliefs without flinching; at the same time, we don’t knock others over the head to believe as we do. We simply show them from our own example of love and steadfastness.
One thing I wish His Holiness had addressed during his visit to the U.S. is the persecution and torture of Christians by Muslim extremists. This is a growing human atrocity that must be stopped! The temper of our nation right now is ripe for this further exposure; I feel an opportunity was lost.
I agree, Martha. Sadly not all Christians think the way you do.
I don’t think the US was the right audience for such a discussion. In very recent days, one elderly Sikh man was tortured in the US because he was thought to be a Muslim. I’m thinking it works both ways.
i like how he says “Don’t proselytize.” If only all faiths would listen to that advice. I was surprised to hear him say it.
Exactly! I think the first people who need to listen to this advice are within the Church, Damien.
Your timing for this post is perfect. He is for sure, a pope for the people!
I love this man. His soul is so beautiful. He reminds me in a lot of ways of Mother Teresa with his deep and genuine love for others.
Pope Francis a beautiful human being,very relevant to our times because he teaches us all how to live life as human beings…thanks Corinne..God bless!