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From the Valley: Pope Francis Is The Real Deal To Bring Us Some Hope

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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 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. 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 thousand dollars a year. We are in the midst of rewarding able-bodied individuals’ laziness with the fruits of our senior citizens’ lifetime of 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: he setting: The State of New Jersey where His Holiness, Pope Francis is visiting its (N.J.) head of state, Governor Chris Christie. Christie has requested an audience with the Pontiff. Governor Chris Christie speaks: “It’s such a pleasure to meet you Pope Francis.” Pope Francis: “Twinkie? Can of Coke” Christie: “Yes, thanks, don’t mind if I do?” Pope Francis: “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.” Pope Francis: “And you need some advice, my son?” Gov. Christie: “Yes. My administration is accused of causing huge traffic jams by closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge separating NJ and NY. People were late for appointments and their jobs because of it.” Pope Francis: “Well, you know, Governor, in life, what you sow here on earth will come back to you in the same manner.” Gov. Christie: “Well, I’m worried that these allegations may be harmful to my presidential aspirations?” Pope Francis: “Well, Governor, let’s just say, unfortunately, you’ll have to cross that bridge when you come to it.” 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?” Pope Francis: “I’m sorry but the last guy ate them all.” Ford: “Well, let me start out by apologizing for my tardiness.” Pope 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!” Pope 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!” Pope Francis: “Coke?” How can you not love the guy? And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.

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