Don’t retreat into video games and computer screens: engage in social activism and politics to create a more just world. This is not your usual encyclical message from the world leader of Catholicism, but this is not your typical pope. “Dear young people, we didn’t come into this world to vegetate, to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: To leave a mark.” Pope Francis decried a modern escapism into consumerism and computers that isolate people. In many ways I believe this has become an unintended consequence of technology’s power to connect us with the rest of the world. It also empowers us to escape into a more self-centered existence.
Francis’ call challenges Christians to be more courageous, to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes, and to set out on new and unchartered paths. Leave your comfort zones and tend to the needy of the world was also a major part of the pope’s appeal. I believe that technology is also a tool that can help us reach out to the needy of the world. This may not have been part of the Pope’s message that day, but I am sure he wouldn’t mind this interpretation. You can go online to find an organization that may be of interest to you in meeting the Pope’s challenge. Have a look at the many social action websites listed on charity.org.
Please also keep those walking shoes handy. Maybe you will also be inspired to set out on new and unchartered paths.