If you’re looking for someone to look up to when it comes to living a happy life, you don’t have to look no further! Our very own Pope Francis has not one but 10 tips on how to live a happy and fulfilled life!
The ten-point plan for happiness first appeared in an interview on Viva, an Argentine magazine. It was released to celebrate Pope Francis’ first 500 days in office.
Here’s Lolo Kiko’s tips and tricks to a happy life for you.
Live and let live
The first step is to move forward and allow others to do the same. In Rome, there’s an ancient Roman advise that goes “Campa e fascia campa” which means live and let live. This echoes Pope Francis’ compassionate stand on people’s differences– an example would be his view that the Church should not interfere spiritually in the life of any person, regardless of age, gender, or race. (Read: These Instances Prove That Pope Francis Supports Equality)
Be giving of yourself to others
Pope Francis has always called on the Catholic clergy and laypersons to live a charitable life toward all. It’s not a secret that the poor has a special place in the heart of our beloved pope. Pope Francis also thinks that charity extends beyond money– it includes giving one’s time to someone who needs it. Moreover, Pope Francis advises against withdrawing into oneself to avoid stagnation. “Stagnant water is the first to be corrupted,” he said.
Pope Francis said that we should move calmly and slowly through life. Which makes sense because moving fast will only exhaust us more– besides, moving slowly and quietly will help us appreciate the journey more. This theme of stillness is an Ignatian teaching, which Pope Francis, as a Jesuit, has been trained in. (Read: 5 Ways to Achieve Peace of Mind Amid the Pandemic)
Take time to relax
Pope Francis has always been against consumerism because it “has brought us many anxieties.” He once said that in Argentina he would ask parents how often they played with their children which caught them off-guard. Nowadays, people are so busy and glamorizing “the grind”– the busier you are, the better; if you lack sleep, it means you’re working hard and earning well. In order to live happily, Pope Francis says that “people who work must take time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.”
Make time for family
Pope Francis said that once a week, people should take a break from their work lives to spend time with their families. The pope is an advocate of a strong and loving family and once said in a radio interview, that family is “necessary for the survival of humanity.” The concept of resting once a week from work is a Jewish and Christian theology concept which is in the Bible. (Read: Does your family have the qualities of these four religious clans?)
Help young people become productive
Pope Francis raised his concern on the high rate of drug use and suicide among unemployed people under 25. This crisis, he said, calls on humanity to help these young ones find work and become productive. For Pope Francis, jobs don’t only give a person money– they give dignity. “Power, money, culture do not give us dignity. Work, honest work, gives us dignity,” he said.
Pope Francis is a staunch advocate for the environment. He even wrote an encyclical about entitled, Laudato si. Moreoever, the pope has always called on the faithful to take care and mind the “degradation” of the environment and calls the various forms of neglect “tyrannical use of nature.”
Let go of negative things quickly
Pope Francis says that one of his secrets to happiness is to shun negativity. Instead of talking about others or the things that frustrate us over and over, the pope advises to take a breath and let the negative things pass quickly and quietly. As the saying goes, “it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.” (Read: A Prayer of Forgiveness for Your Enemies)
Respect beliefs of others
One of Pope Francis’ recipe for happiness is to cool it with aggressive conversion of people into the faith. “The worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes,” he said. For Pope Francis, we shouldn’t talk with others if our goal is to persuade them that we are right. According to him, each one of us has his or her way and therefore should be respected. Pope Francis stresses that if people will join the Catholic Church, it should be because they are attracted to it, not because they were argued into it.
Be a peace worker
Pope Francis has always talked about and commented on international crises. He always voices out his impassioned plea and expressed his sincere sympathy for those affected. Pope Francis lives happily because he advocates for peace– works for and talks about it in all spheres. “Peace is the language we must speak,” he said.