Pope Francis gave a clear message in his TED Talk. He preached compassion and kindness. During his recorded message on Tuesday, he quoted an Argentine saying about power. One may wonder if he was referring to one specific national leader who is often accused of being “unkind” to a number of people. Was he talking about U.S. President Donald Trump?
It was the first time a Pope was giving a TED talk. Moreover, it is viewed as one step forward to the Vatican reaching out to the mass. During his speech, the Pope talked about involving in the path of progress and development. He asked not to depend on politicians, leaders or big companies. According to Pope Francis, development depends on each and every one. At the same time, he asked people to be kind and tender. He reminded that only the strongest would choose to be tender, and only the most courageous people would choose the path of kindness. The Pope talked about the importance humility, especially for those who would be more powerful than the rest.
“The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly.”
There is hardly anybody more powerful than the president of the United States, often considered the most powerful nation in the world. However, President Donald Trump is often criticized for his impolite ways of handling various situations. Earlier this year, veteran Hollywood actress Meryl Streep slammed the U.S. president for his “unkind” act. Even though she did not take any name, there was hardly any confusion about what she was referring to. She was talking about the time when Trump mocked a disabled reporter.
“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter,” the iconic actress said. “Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back.”
A year before Donald Trump defeated his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in the U.S. presidential election, he imitated Serge Kovaleski. The New York Times reporter has a physical condition and has trouble in joint movements.
The way Trump reacted to Meryl Streep’s comments was even more arrogant. He told the New York Times that he was not surprised that the actress said such things about him, because she had supported the “other” presidential candidate, Clinton. He referred to Streep as one of the “liberal movie people” who kept on criticizing him. Trump also referred to the movie icon as “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood.” Moreover, he bluntly denied that he was making fun of the reporter.
Pope Francis’ reference to the ultimate power and the importance of being humble is a direct message to the U.S. president. And, here is the Argentine saying about power that he used to make his point even stronger.
“Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.”
The Pope said power would ruin the person if there was no humility. Consequently, that person would ruin the other, he said. Just like having gin on an empty stomach, an unkind person in power will “feel dizzy” and lose their balance. Pope Francis said such a person would end up hurting themselves and the people around them, if there was no connection between power and humility. According to the Pope, tenderness is not weakness but fortitude.
“Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power – the highest, the strongest one – becomes a service, a force for good.”
Pope Francis’ TED talk was not the first time he sent a strong message against the U.S. president. In February, the pope indirectly slammed Trump’s policy of building a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border and asked him to “build bridges” instead. According to The Telegraph, Pope Francis talked about the Sudanese slave who went on to become St. Josephine Bakhita. Sudan happens to be one of the seven countries that are banned from traveling to the United States, as per Donald Trump’s executive order.
[Featured Image by Franco Origlia/Getty Images]