In our present time, rife with conflict, war, political madness, increasing poverty, health issues and hardship for so many on our planet, we haven’t been blessed being exposed to many positive newscasts.
However, this month, Pope Francis issued a rather passionate call for the first time in a TED talk – at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Watch on YouTube – click on icon [cc] to read English subtitles
In his video-taped speech at the Vatican, he addressed three topics: the connectedness of all, science, technology and solidarity, and, lastly, he called for a revolution of ‘tenerezza’ – tenderness, a word which could also be translated as compassion or kindness.
Speaking at first about the theme of the conference – The Future You – he asserted, “The future is made of yous, it is made of encounters, because life flows through our relations with others. Quite a few years of life have strengthened my conviction that each and everyone’s existence is deeply tied to that of others: life is not time merely passing by, life is about interactions.
“I would love it if this meeting could help to remind us that we all need each other; none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent ‘I’, separated from the other, and we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone. We don’t think about it often, but everything is connected, and we need to restore our connections to a healthy state.”
He then went on to speak about his second message, “How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us. How wonderful would it be if solidarity, this beautiful and, at times, inconvenient word, were not simply reduced to social work, and became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples and countries.
“Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the ‘culture of waste’, which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people.”
“Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.”
Referring to Jesus’ parable of the ‘Good Samaritan’ he continued, “People’s paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money, and things, instead of people. And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves ‘respectable’, of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road. Fortunately, there are also those who are creating a new world by taking care of the other, even out of their own pockets.”
Calling upon a revolution of tenderness, he lined out that “… tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility. Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other. “
In closing he said, “The future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies. Yes, they do hold an enormous responsibility. But the future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a ‘you’ and themselves as part of an ‘us’. We all need each other….”
Read the full translated transcript here