Many people believe that when it comes to religious people, everything can be about just religion. Pope Francis spoke to Congress on Sept. 24. His speech benefitted those in Congress, with or without religious background.

The most powerful section of the Pope’s speech addressed the “golden rule.” Everyone wants respect, but they don’t think to respect others themselves. Some people believe people will simply follow this out of the goodness of their hearts, but in reality, people want what’s good for themselves, instead of others.

As humans, we believe we deserve things, such as respect. We do deserve respect, but shouldn’t expect it without giving respect to others. Respect is not an object that can be handed out on the street; it’s a virtue that is earned through time.

It is important that we understand how to be just toward one another. Pope Francis did just that when speaking to Congress. He expanded the golden rule to be more than “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.”

“Let us treat other with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for other the possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities,” he said. His message is to be kind and show love toward others.

I believe that Pope Francis gave everyone a wake-up call. He reminds Congress that we should “aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments and thus prompting the well-being of individuals and of peoples.” His speech reflects how to help bring peace and justice into the world without using harmful words or actions.

Pope Francis challenges the people to be more compassionate towards others. Everything in life is a two-way street, so if we want to be respected, we should be willing to earn it.

Brittaney Snyder