Finally – a “Top Ten” I can really use!
David Letterman of the Late Show often used a fake and funny top ten list to get a good laugh but Pope Francis’ Top Ten should be printed out and placed on everyone’s refrigerator.
In an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva” July 27, the pope listed his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life. Although listed one to ten in the Catholic Register, I am going to list them David Letterman style with my own commentary going from number ten to number one!
10. Work for peace. I am reminded that this doesn’t just go for peace in the Middle East, but for peace in my home, parish, community and work place. Pray and work for world peace but demonstrate it at home.
9. Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs. I love my Catholic faith and occasionally my friends and family get sick of me harping on the “Catholic ” teaching of things. I have an obligation to live and teach my faith but I want others to recognize the beauty of the faith in me. If I am not living and radiating joy – who would want to be Catholic like me. It may be an odd comparison but, I think of one of a line in a movie – in the restaurant scene the neighboring customer leans over to the waitress and says “I’ll have what she’s having.” I want people to see me and say, “I’ll have what she’s having!”
8. Stop being negative. Oh, this one is so hard for me because misery loves company! I find the best way to get rid of the crabbiness is to talk to a trusted friend (or in my case my spouse) and get it out. We have a saying in our house that we used when our kids were little. We say, “Over, done with, gone!”
7. Respect and take care of nature. This seemed easier when my children were little. They would bring me a rock or (heaven forbid) lizard and marvel at how beautiful it was. I remember one time when driving to visit my mother when my children were in the back seat. My son pointed and yelled to look out the window at a rainbow and said, “Mom, look what God made for us!” Out of the mouths of babes…
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. I found this an interesting thing to be on the Pope’s list. I have , however always loved being with and working with young people. The whole world is ahead of them and a little encouragement can bring them so far, but I have to say when I spend time with youth it is me who benefits from their enthusiasm.
5. Sundays should be holidays. We have sort of lost Sundays in this country. It becomes yet another day to do chores or in this digital age catch up on work. My parents used to talk about “Sunday go to visiting day” and we would visit family and friends and build that community that you just cannot get with virtual facebook friends.
4. “A healthy sense of leisure. Father Patrick Peyton used to say “The family that prays together stays together.” While that may be true, I also believe the family that plays together enjoys each others company while they stay together. Have fun!
3. “Proceed calmly” in life. I am sure you have seen the facebook memes that say “Keep calm and XXXX” With the X’s being one of many things. Maybe facebook is catching on to the Pope! Maybe I’ll make a meme that says ‘Keep calm and listen to the Pope!”
2. “Be giving of yourself to others. Being stingy of my time or resources only leads me to misery. The number one way to break out of a depression is to get involved and give to others. It is like God’s very own Prozac!
And the number one way to bring greater Joy to ones life is: (Drum roll please!)
1. “Live and let live. When I find myself getting tied up in someone elses drama I need to remember this one. The Pope said their is a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.” I prefer a Polish saying I saw recently. I even posted near my desk at work. It says, “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje ma?pe” Translates into “Not my circus, not my monkey.”
Thank you Pope Francis, for reminding us once again how to live!