Even the Pope Agrees With Me: Twenty-Somethings, Get Your Ass Off the Sofa and DO Something

I rail a lot against twenty-somethings. Not the twenty-somethings who actually accomplish something. But the twenty-somethings who live in mommy and daddy’s basement, spending their time on video games and whining about how the “world won’t give” them a chance.

Seems like no one less than the Pope agrees.

Pope Francis called for unity and warned against trappings of consumerism and complacency at the World Youth Day gathering outside Krakow, Poland.

By REUTERS and ASSOCIATED PRESS on Publish Date July 31, 2016. Photo by David W Cerny/Reuters. Watch in Times Video »

BRZEGI, Poland — Pope Francis celebrated the last Mass of his trip to Poland on Sunday before one million pilgrims near Krakow as he discussed, once again, the terrorist threat and migrant crisis. The pope urged young people during the weekend to stand up to violence, hatred and terror instead of being “couch potatoes” glued to “the screen of a cellphone.”

Reinforcing remarks he made many times during his five-day stay in Poland about those who suffer — the sick, people with disabilities, the elderly and, especially, refugees — the pope expressed concern that young people “confuse happiness with a sofa” as they become indifferent to the increasingly dark events of the world.

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Francis, 79, said last week that the killing of an 85-year-old priest in France, among other terrorist attacks, was proof that the “world is at war,” though one that was not caused by religion.

“Today’s world demands that you be a protagonist of history, because life is always beautiful when we choose to live it fully, when we choose to leave a mark,” he said Sunday as he addressed pilgrims on a vast field in Brzegi, a village about seven miles east of Krakow, for World Youth Day.

“Some situations seem distant until, in some way, we touch them,” Francis said on Saturday night. “We don’t appreciate certain things because we only see them on the screen of a cellphone or a computer.”

“The times we live in do not call for young couch potatoes, but for young people with shoes or, better, boots laced. It only takes players on the first string, and it has no room for bench warmers.”

In Poland, in his first trip to Central and Eastern Europe, Francis used his remarks about the trappings of complacency to underscore a growing resistance in post-Communist countries to accepting refugees.

Even though the conservative government in Poland is closely aligned with theRoman Catholic Church, it disagrees with the pope on the issue of migrants and refugees.

Originally published in NY Times