Another man is creating waves around the world with a simple philosophy based on love, kindness and compassion. Pope Francis is practically turning the Catholic Church upside down and, in the process, shaking a world out of its complacent acceptance of judgment, animosity, hatred and discrimination against the most despised among us. His refusal to wallow in importance, wealth and opulance while at the same time preaching understanding of the poor, the wretched, and the misbegotten is inspiring. In less than one year, this singular man has changed the religious discourse for billions of people. It appears that Pope Francis already wishes his legacy to be one of love, inclusion, and tolerance, rather than divisiveness and superiority.
When people lament the lack of good in the world, and focus on the debilitating amount of vitriol and hatred seemingly everywhere, it is good to remember that the most revered people in history tend to be those who focus on the common good, and who lead by the example of love. Nobody stands in lines for hours upon hours to bid farewell to those who seek to demean, to demoralize, or to ostracize their fellow human beings. We are inspired by the men and women who challenge us to live up to the highest expectations of loving one another unconditionally. They are not great men and women doing great things. These are ordinary people doing the most basic of all human behaviors - loving. Nelson Mandela was in touch with the core of what it means to be human, and that is why his loss reverberated around the globe. He touched us because he was us. Pope Francis appears to embody the same basic core of humanity, and is inspiring millions in the process. What a great thing.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Be kind to each other and to yourself.
© Copyright 2013 Douglas Layer, LMHC