The Pope has made a surprise TED talk, relayed from the Vatican to a TED conference in Vancouver, calling for all leaders to act with humility and tenderness.
His talk lasted 18 minutes, in which Francis gave advice to politicians and leaders of big business, talked of his own life as the son of migrants and the core Christian value of tenderness.
For Pope Francis, tenderness is a key Christian value, and in his first TED
talk he said:
“Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future.”
Francis added: “To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted Earth. Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need.”
Tenderness is not for the weak of heart, the Pope stressed. It takes strength to empathise with and act for the neediest. The alternative to tenderness is arrogant disconnected leaders drunk on their own power. They, like falling-down drunks at a party, ruin it for everyone.
Francis warned the powerful to be humble or risk ruin: “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.”
Pope Francis concluded that politicians and big business don’t own the future, We do.