In an interview published in the Argentine weekly Viva on 27 July, Pope Francis listed his top ten tips for bringing greater joy to your life:
1. Live and let Live. Everyone should be guided by this principle.
2. Be giving of yourself to others. People need to be open and generous toward others, the Pope said, because 'if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. Stagnant water becomes putrid'.
3. Proceed calmly through life.
4. A healthy sense of leisure. The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said. 'Consumerism has brought us anxiety' and stress. Time is 'swallowed up' so people cannot share it with anyone. Families must also turn off the television when they sit down to eat, as having it on during mealtime doesn't allow you to communicate with each other.'
5. Sundays should be a holiday. Workers should have Sundays off because 'Sunday is for family'.
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. 'We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs and be more vulnerable to suicide. It's not enough to give them food. Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home from your own labour'.
7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation 'is one of the biggest challenges we have. I think a question that we're not asking ourselves is: 'Isn't humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?'
8. Stop being negative. 'Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, 'I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,' said the Pope. 'Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy'.
9. Do not proselytise; respect others' beliefs. 'We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating... The Church grows by attraction, not proselytising'.
10. Work for peace. 'We are living in a time of many wars. Peace sometimes give the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive and dynamic'.
Kairos, 17 August 2014