Published on Thursday, 25 July 2013 00:00
Power is the ultimate weapon. It is extremely easy to get consumed with power and forget the person you once were. But the ones who are able to resist the things power can bring are the ones who can change the world for the better good.
When men go crazy with power, they will completely forget themselves and their favourite hobby would be sitting in a leather chair, stroking a cat and going “muahahahah”.
Only a few men have resisted turning to the dark side and have stayed true to their roots and moral values. We salute these few good men.
1. The Poorest President in the World
78-year-old José Mujica is the President of Uruguay, who is also known as “The Poorest President in the World”. An atheist, a vegetarian, a former member of the Tupamaro, and an owner of a Volkswagen Beetle, José Mujica is actually the poorest president by CHOICE, and he is proud of it.
WHAAAAAAAAT...? This cannot be! But he is a politician!
MIND = BLOWN.
It gets more mind-blowing. Mr. Mujica is one of the few politicians in the world who walks the walk and talks the talk. He believes in setting an example for the people and is actually genuinely concerned about the welfare of Uruguay’s citizens and the state of his country. A politician who really cares?! My whole life is a lie! This man deserves to be knighted! I knight thee, Sir Mujica!
Sir Mujica refused the privilege of living in a palace reserved for the country’s head of government, opting instead for a humble farm in the outskirts of the capital of Montevideo where he and his wife cultivate chrysanthemums.
Sir Mujica considers himself a leftist but at the same time, he is vocal in wanting a more flexible approach that is capable of thinking outside the box. He has been described to have a “folksy style” and speaks the language of the people. He is always one to speak his mind. He believes in pro-choice and has declared his support for abortion should a bill come up for him to approve despite opposition from conservative and religious groups. And instead of taking a stand for just his country, he is looking for a peaceful resolution between Argentina and Uruguay’s dispute over pulp mills along a shared river. On top of that, he has called for more acceptance of leaders of belligerent nations, even commending the Brazilian leadership’s friendship with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because fencing in Iran will just make it harder for the rest of the world. Amongst many other things, he has also backed legalization for marijuana, claiming that it would weaken drug cartels while at the same time, allow drug abusers to seek help from social service groups.
What an awesome fellow! Plus, he looks like Santa Claus! Such a cute, jolly old guy!
Not in love with him yet, as I am? Well, how about this? Sir Mujica earns US$12,000 (S$15,151) per month, making that US$144,000 (S$181,814) annually, and not only does this man look like Santa Claus, he behaves like Santa Claus. While many philanthropists donate 10 percent of their total income to charities, this benevolent man practices reverse tithing where he keeps only 10 percent of his US$12,000 salary and gives away 90 percent of it to organizations that help small entrepreneurs and the needy. RESPECT.
2. Pope Francis
In the short amount of time that Pope Francis took on the role of Sovereign of Vatican City, he has changed the image of a pope that we all knew and stereotyped so well. He was named Man of The Year by the Italian edition of Vanity Fair in recognition of his good deeds.
"His first one hundred days have already placed him in the category of world leaders who make history," said Vanity Fair. "But the revolution continues."
Throughout his entire life, Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths. None of these changed even after he was appointed pope. He chooses to reside in the Vatican guesthouse instead of the impressively majestic papal residence.
Besides rejecting many of the perks and privileges that come with the Roman Catholic Church’s highest post, Pope Francis is loved worldwide even among the different religious leaders in Buenos Aires. Pope Francis opened up the Cathedral in Bueno Aires, welcoming interfaith ceremonies. Like in November 2012, he brought the leaders of the Jewish, Muslim, evangelical, and Orthodox Christian faiths together in the Cathedral to pray for peace in the Middle East. Leaders spoke of Pope Francis to have a “very deep capacity for dialogue with other religions”, and he considers “healing divisions between religions a major part of the Catholic Church's mission”.
The Vatican Bank, long known as one of the most secretive in the world and constantly accused of corruption and money laundering is becoming more transparent under the rule of Pope Francis who endeavours to clean it up.
Pope Francis is very accepting of atheists and the gay community despite the Vatican’s uncompromising stance on them. He said that atheists who are good are redeemed by Jesus even though they do not believe in Christ or any god for that matter. And while Pope Francis maintains that homosexuality is intrinsically immoral, he believes that every homosexual person should be treated with respect and love.
Through Pope Francis’ compassion and the way he conducts his personal life; choosing to take the minibus instead of the papal limousine, and putting up in cheap hotel accommodations, his commitment to social justice is clearly sincere.
May the revolution continue and let more leaders like these arise from this world.