Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you heard about Pope Francis’ historic visit to the United States.
Whatever your religious views are (or aren’t), one would have to admit that the man is truly an impressive and admirable human being.
In just 5 days, he managed to meet with our president, address a joint session of Congress, address the United Nations General Assembly, head a multi religious prayer service at the 911 memorial, give a mass at Madison Square Garden, and participate in many other acts of good will and charity towards the citizens of this nation – all at the ripe young age of 78!
One of the things that caught my attention, however, was an interview with a bishop from New York.
A reporter asked his opinion of this Pope, and he replied,
“He’s the real deal. He practices what he preaches.”
This made me think quite a bit.
And I kept repeating those words in my head:
“He’s the real deal.”
“He practices what he preaches.”
Could it really be that simple?
Is that all it takes to really make a difference in this world?
To just do what you say and say what you do?
I believe so.
It dawned on me that we live in a world where very few people can truly live up to that.
Think about it.
Doctors make us sick.
Lawyers exploit our legal system.
Healthcare practitioners injure us.
Elected officials neglect their constituents.
Police officers do not serve or protect the people.
Teachers don’t educate.
Religious officials pervert.
Leaders don’t lead.
How many people do you know that only live for the weekend?
That aren’t passionate about their lives?
That don’t care about or take pride in their careers or the quality of service that they provide?
It’s sad to say, but the reality of it is that there are a lot of folks out there today who think and feel that way.
And the reason “why” is simple – because it’s easy.
It’s easy to say one thing and do another.
It’s easy to forget about your dreams and let somebody else dictate your life.
It’s easy to just “go with the flow” and have everybody like you.
One of my favorite quotes comes from one of our presidents, Theodore Roosevelt.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have, however, envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
Read that again.
Are you living by those words?
Do you pursue a goal or objective regardless of it’s difficulty as long as it is meaningful to you?
Are you sacrificing short term reward for long term growth and success?
Are you making a positive impact on the lives of those around you, every single day?
Are you living your life with passion and following your dreams?
Do you stand by your word and follow through on commitments?
If I have learned anything from watching this pope it’s that making a difference in this world and following your passion never comes easy.
People may not like you.
You won’t have as much “down” time.
But so what?
The pride and fulfillment you get from doing your absolute best at whatever it is you choose to do is, in my opinion, worth every effort, every pain, and every difficulty along the way.
Practice what you preach.
Be “The Real Deal.”