“A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you”, says Pope Francis in a TED Talk delivered directly from Vatican City. His Holiness via live video streaming served as a speaker during one of the TED conferences last year. With the theme “The Future You”, the Pope talked about the importance of solidarity and showing genuine care and concern for others.
We all need one another to build a better future
Pope Francis used his speech to remind everyone that the future can only be built if everyone would stand together. According to him, a happy future can be made possible if everyone would just open their doors to the outside world and connect with each other. “We don’t think about it often, but everything is connected,” his Holiness said. “We need to restore our connections to a healthy state. Even the harsh judgment I hold in my heart against my brother or my sister, the open wound that was never cured, the offense that was never forgiven, the rancor that is only going to hurt me, are all instances of a fight that I carry within me.”
Solidarity is not mere social work, it is an attitude
“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion?” This was the question Pope Francis used to start off on his second message. According to his Holiness, people today are riddled with suffering because everything is centered around money and things.
To fight suffering, Pope Francis says, solidarity should be seen as not just mere social work, but a default attitude in everyone’s political, economic, scientific, social, and relational choices. “Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the “culture of waste” which doesn’t only include food and waste, but first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realizing it, are now putting products to their core, instead of people.” The Pope also said that the only way to find true happiness is to love one’s neighbours and feel hopeful. “A single individual is enough for hope to exist. And that individual can be you. And then there will be another you and another you and it turns into an us… Hope began with one you. Then when there is an us, there begins revolution.”
Tenderness is the path to solidarity and humility
For his third message, Pope Francis talked about the culture of tenderness and how it can lead one into solidarity and humility. “Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need… It is about being on the same level as the other.” His Holiness also talked about how humility saves powerful people. “Through humility and concrete love, power– the highest, the strongest one — becomes service, a force of good.” He added, “The future of mankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of the politicians, of great leaders, of big companies. Yes, they hold an enormous responsibility. But the future is 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.”