…the number 10.
I’m seriously thinking about putting together a book of these happy/inspired lists and using my photos as the art. These lists are everywhere, each offering something new and valuable. Anyway, today’s list is the “Pope’s 10 Tips for a Happier Life,” originally published here.
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 proselytise; 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 proselytising,” 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.
Love me some Pope Francis. Seriously love.
A number of these resonated with me, but #9 really struck a chord. I’ve recently had some interactions with an individual at work who has made me realize how important “attraction” to faith can be. This individual is constantly challenging “the way things are” and has no shortage of criticisms of those who do not measure up to the standards of his “faith.” Though I don’t disagree with his religious beliefs, I find him to be arrogant, judgmental, and condescending. But more than anything, he strikes me as being so angry and unhappy. I’ve actually found myself wondering how he must look to people who do not share his beliefs — the very people he’s wanting to change. What would possibly attract people to ask about his faith? Who would look to him and say, “You know, I’d like to join you.” Probably very few.
Because, in the end….