Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pope Francis's TED Talk


In his 18-minute TED Talk, Pope Francis encourages us to think of ourselves in the flow of life and not as captives of our limited, selfish interests.

While the prime focus of his talk is about injustice to migrants, it is rather easy (and appropriate, I'd say), to think of Sacramento homeless people when the pope mentions those who have been "discarded."

"Why them and not me?" Pope Francis asks himself. He implies that it would have been just as easy for him to be living a desperate life as any other person. The "other side of the coin" is likely to enter listeners' minds, as well. How is it that Pope Francis has been so majestically favored such that he is an important, influential and beloved figure?

We need to be connected to all others, he tells us. Our tendency to be an island, focused on our self-interests is a craven mistake.

Francis makes a vivid show of the rancor that can dwell in our hearts. He suggests there are disputes even he has had with his (proverbial) sister and with his brother.

Our deep worries about our future can be overcome with connection we make with the outside world -- that is, "others."

[ For those of us who do not share the Pope's religion, it has to be of interest the very positive thing he said directly in regard to science.] Science points to an understanding of reality, the Pope tells us. Elementary particles, he tells us, connect and interact with everything else, (much like he rejoins us to, ourselves, connect and interact with other people).

In the distinct second part of his talk, Pope Francis begins by saying, "How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion."

[ My immediate thought was that he can have been talking about the distribution of life-saving drugs being made easily available to those who desperately need them.]

Francis ends by relating the story of the Good Samaritan, suggesting that we follow in the path of Jesus in having a generous spirit.

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