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Why the Pope losing his cool was a good thing

By Nina Steele 

I was raised a catholic but gave it up years ago, as I no longer believe in some of its practices and doctrines. Spirituality on the other hand, has been an integral part of my life for well over a decade, and anger is one of the emotions that it teaches you to overcome. By overcoming, I don’t mean a time when one never gets angry again, but rather being aware of the anger, whenever it surfaces.

By being aware whenever you react to something angrily, you know what your issues are, and as a result, you can work on improving as a person. As human beings however, unless we live as hermits, we can never achieve a state of perfection, i.e: a state of growth where we are in total control of our emotions. And that is ok. To seek perfection is unrealistic, while always striving to be a better person is what we should ideally all aspire to.

And so, it was quite refreshing to watch the Pope lose his temper. If ever there was proof that no one is perfect, that was it. A lot of people, myself included, have tended to believe at some point in their lives, that we could reach a certain state of mind that involves being completely in control of our emotions, and so felt guilty every time we did not live up to our own expectations. It is very noble to want to be a good person, however, it becomes exhausting when you continuously feel guilt for the most minor of incidents.

This idea that we can achieve perfection on earth is one of the reasons behind the practice of self-flagellation. Punishing oneself whenever a ‘sin’ is committed.

Life as they say is for living, and interacting with other human beings is bound to lead to some type of conflicts and challenges. Through those conflicts and challenges, we learn and the majority of us grow and become better and stronger people as a result.

When the Pope criticised the childfree for their choice not to have children, I was naturally one of the people who objected, because if the Pope can show such intolerance, then what hope is there for others who take everything he says at face value. I bet some of his followers imagined that as the Pope, he is a saint, not prone to human frailties, until of course that incident the other day.

Since we now know that even the Pope can have his weak moments, let’s hope that what he says is not taken as the ultimate truth, and that his followers use their own judgement to decide on issues that either affect their own lives, or that of others.

Photograph: huffingtonpost.co.uk

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