The Pope has warned of the dangers of power by using a rather relatable comparison - drinking gin.
Speaking in a surprise TED talk, the head of the Roman Catholic Church called for a “revolution of tenderness” and warned that leaders should act humbly or their power could ruin them.
In his speech, which was aired at the annual TED conference in Vancouver, he said: “Yes, tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility.
“Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.
“There is a saying in Argentina: ‘Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.’
“You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.
“Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power – the highest, the strongest one – becomes a service, a force for good.”
His Holiness didn’t reveal whether he himself had ever fallen foul of a few two many glasses of mother’s ruin.
His comments were welcomed by many on social media...
Francis also spoke of a “culture of waste” in both material goods and people.
He said: “Only by educating people to a true solidarity will we be able to overcome the ‘culture of waste,’ which doesn’t concern only food and goods but, first and foremost, the people who are cast aside by our techno-economic systems which, without even realising it, are now putting products at their core, instead of people.
“Solidarity is a term that many wish to erase from the dictionary.
“Solidarity, however, is not an automatic mechanism. It cannot be programmed or controlled. It is a free response born from the heart of each and everyone. Yes, a free response.
“When one realises that life, even in the middle of so many contradictions, is a gift, that love is the source and the meaning of life, how can they withhold their urge to do good to another fellow being?”