Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I have a new idol in my life. It’s probably odd for someone of my age to admit as much, but it’s the truth. Anytime I see a person bringing hope into the world, count me in as a fan. I’m referring to Pope Francis. What a breath of fresh air this guy brings to the table.
The man is the real deal.
In a generation possessed of a me-first, self-promoting mentality, Pope Francis is a beacon of humility. A throwback from the trending narcissism that has irreversibly taken over society.
It took him only five words to become my hero: “Who am I to judge?”
But that doesn’t mean he’s happy with the status quo. He’s not about to sit back and let dysfunction continue on its destructive path without a fight.
Francis has stepped to the plate and filled an ever-growing chasm in our lives. He recognizes that we – more so every day – are living in a culture devoid of responsibility. A culture that is callously discarding respect as yesterday’s news; and one that tosses aside courtesy as too old-fashioned.
For example: We are obsessed with gossip, voyeurism and a propensity to flaunt whatever it is we think will offend someone else. We are gripped in an age of cheering for athletes who make half a million dollars a week, yet gripe about teachers who make $60,000 dollars a year. We are in the midst of rewarding able-bodied individuals’ laziness with the fruits of the elderly’s hard work.
But who am I to judge?
I wonder what sort of advice this pope would give to some of today’s news-makers. What kind of wisdom would he impart upon them?
Cue the harp music as we cut to … yes … a fantasy scenario:
The setting: The State of New Jersey, where His Holiness, Pope Francis, is visiting. New Jersey’s head of state, Governor Chris Christie, has requested an audience with the Pontiff.
Christie speaks first: “It’s such a pleasure to meet you Pope Francis.”
Francis: “Twinkie? Can of Coke?”
Christie: “Yes, thanks, don’t mind if I do.”
Francis: “Now, what can I do for you, Governor?”
Christie: “Well, Holy Father, I’m in sort of a predicament here. I’m involved in a scandal where I’ve been accused of vendettas against those who have opposed me.”
Francis: “And you need some advice, my son?”
Christie: “Yes. My administration is accused of causing huge traffic jams. People were kept from going where they intended to go … allegedly.”
Francis: “Well, you know, Governor, what you sow usually comes back to you in the same manner.”
Christie: “Well, what I’m concerned about is if these allegations will have any effect on my presidential aspirations.”
Francis: “Well, Governor, let’s just say ... allegedly ... you’ll have to cross that bridge when you come to it, won’t you?”
Cue the harp music again. Now visualize a new visitor with the Pope.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford: “It’s such an honor to meet you, Holy Father. Are there any Twinkies?”
Francis: “I’m sorry, but the last guy ate them all.”
Ford: “Well, let me start out by apologizing for my tardiness.”
Francis: “Did you encounter problems on your way here, my son?”
Ford: “You bet I did. The traffic was horrible. I couldn’t get over that damn bridge!”
Francis: (slight chuckle) “Ah yes, we all tend to run into problems along the road of life. It’s how we deal with them that counts.”
Ford: “Amen to that!”
How can you not love the guy?
And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.Tom Valley is a Medina resident. Contact him at email@example.com.