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. ‚ÄúLive and let live.‚ÄĚ Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, ‚ÄúMove forward and let others do the same.‚ÄĚ
2. ‚ÄúBe giving of yourself to others.‚ÄĚ People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because ‚Äúif you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.‚ÄĚ
3. ‚ÄúProceed calmly‚ÄĚ 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 ‚ÄĒ gaucho Don Segundo Sombra ‚ÄĒ looks back on how he lived his life.
4. A healthy sense of leisure. The Pope said ‚Äúconsumerism has brought us anxiety‚ÄĚ, 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 ‚ÄúSunday is for family,‚ÄĚ he said.
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. ‚ÄúWe need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs‚ÄĚ and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.
7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation ‚Äúis one of the biggest challenges we have,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI think a question that we‚Äôre not asking ourselves is: ‚ÄėIsn‚Äôt humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?‚Äô‚ÄĚ
8. Stop being negative. ‚ÄúNeeding to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‚ÄėI feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,‚Äô‚ÄĚ the Pope said. ‚ÄúLetting go of negative things quickly is healthy.‚ÄĚ
9. Don‚Äôt proselytize; respect others‚Äô beliefs. ‚ÄúWe can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: ‚ÄėI am talking with you in order to persuade you,‚Äô No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing,‚ÄĚ the Pope said.
10. Work for peace. ‚ÄúWe are living in a time of many wars,‚ÄĚ he said, and ‚Äúthe call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive‚ÄĚ and dynamic.
Courtesy of the Catholic News Service.