‘Power is like drinking gin on empty stomach’: Pope warns world leaders in surprise TED talk (VIDEO)

‘Power is like drinking gin on empty stomach’: Pope warns world leaders in surprise TED talk (VIDEO)
Pope Francis has given his first TED Talk, warning of the dangers of wielding too much power, while also recounting his own experience as a son of immigrants.

The 80-year-old pontiff delivered a modern message of hope via videolink from Vatican City to the annual TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, Canada, Tuesday.

The surprise TED Talk was organized in secret and marks the first time his holiness has spoken at an international conference.

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The pope first remarked on the theme of the conference, ‘The Future You,’ noting that “we can only build a future by standing together, including everyone.”

"Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the 'other' is not a statistic, or a number. We all need each other.”

Addressing the “terrible hardships” facing migrants today, Francis pointed out that he himself was born in a family of migrants. He asked “why them and not me? “I could have very well ended up among today’s discarded people.”

The pope, who has been recognized for his innovative work in using technology to promote social integration, imagined a world where the growth of science and technology matched that of equality and social inclusion.

He emphasised the importance of “true solidarity” in overcoming society’s “culture of waste,” referring to the people “cast aside by our techno-economic systems.”

"People who call themselves 'respectable' [often leave] behind entire populations, on the side of the road,” he said.

During the 18-minute talk he also highlighted the need for a “revolution of tenderness.”  

“Tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly."

He warned that those who don’t respect power in this way will allow it to ruin them and others.

“Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach,” he said, referencing an Argentinian saying. “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.”

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He concluded the TED Talk with a hopeful message, emphasizing that the future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians and big companies, but is mostly in the hands of the people who recognize the importance of inclusion.