Dispatches from Europe #2 (UK)

The second post in a series of reflections on travel to the UK and Paris by Michael Wear

Pope Francis, President Obama and Christian Political Engagement

Pope Francis, President Obama and Christian Political Engagement

Today's meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama was fascinating and elucidating. I wrote for The Atlantic in advance of the meeting, that we should look beyond policy pronouncements to the "deeper things" for the meaning of this meeting. I think this proved true.

It's also been stunning to see media reaction to the meeting. Some are asking if just by merely meeting with Pope Francis, the President's poll numbers will go up. Others are expressing either dismay or surprise that the Pope didn't subject the President to a diatribe on abortion.

Here are my takeaways from the meeting:

Cities and their Ambitions (Why I Love New York)

New York's ambition is creativity. An ambition with the weaknesses of all ambitions, but with the advantage that it is always looking towards the future, to be a part of a bigger story, a larger patchwork.  

I have been drawn to that creative ambition in recent days. I desire to do something new, to push on, to find a place.

I will fly to New York tomorrow. Eager for that reminder New York gives, as only she can, that the city goes on without us, that a song will be sung regardless, but that we are invited to add our voice to the chorus. 

The Morality of (Walking Out of) The Wolf of Wall Street

Whether you liked The Wolf of Wall Street or not, at least it offered a stark portrait of what is really happening in the life of someone like Jordan Belfort. Perhaps some will make a different choice about whether he is really the kind of person we want to take lessons from and aspire to be.