i’ve recently come to realize the extent that Bono is, more than just a talented rockstar, a true leader for our generation. my first introduction was hearing his acceptance speach upon winning the TED prize. i was blown away by his inspiring plea to come together to save africa now and avoid what he called ‘the holocaust of our time’.
not only is Bono funny, bright and articulate (even poetic) but he is a true leader. Bono has taken a tired and overwhelming message we’ve all grown numb to and turned it into something positive and actionable. his one campaign brilliantly says ‘we dont want your money, we want your voice’. he has realized that his goals will be accomplished by enlisting our voices to change US policy and that means billions.
what makes Bono stand out as a true leader is that he is helping us realize our own power. after going to his concert this weekend, i felt the power Bono weilds, how he can use his pulpet to wake us up, to create activists. he asked us to hold up our cell phones (which lit the whole arena!) to show how much power we all weild. if 1 million of us call our congressmen, we can change US policy and history.
excerpts from his speach to TED which blew me away…
this is not about charity. this is about justice. we’re all good at charity. justice is a tougher standard than charity. africa makes us question our commitment, because we would never allow this level of disaster to occur in america. this level of hemorraging of human life would not be allowed anywhere but africa. africa is in flames. we need a fire brigade…
i need your help. 6500 people dying a day may be africa’s crisis but the fact it’s not on our nightly news makes it our crisis…a whole continent dying. we do not have to stand for this. forget the sixties. we can change the world. this is the moment you were designed for. it is the flowering of the seeds planted in earlier generations. it is possible to change the world. why are we not pumping our fists into the air? probably because we’d have to admit we can do something about this and that’s a pain in the ass.
there are moments in history when the world redefines itself and this could be that time. we can change the future of the people who live on planet earth. where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world.
history will remember our age for three things – the digital revolution, the war against terror and what we did or did not do to put out the fires in africa. some say we cant afford to. i say we cant afford not to.
i was so inspired by Bono’s words that i decided at his concert i would visit africa this year to understand for myself what is going on there and find a way to get involved. i have volunteered to help his one campaign figure out how to leverage social networking and community to help launch a social movement beyond just acquiring 1 million signatures.
there are great lessons in Bono’s approach. rather than focus on what’s wrong in our world, our government, our company, our family, we will accomplish more by working to make positive change. rather than building our own power, we will accomplish an exponentially greater impact by helping others unleash their own. Bono mentions going to Glide Church and visiting Cecil Williams. it reminds me of what Cecil always says on his sunday morning radio show, ‘people who are about themselves make very small packages.’
i also found it ironic that Bono talks about meeting the Pope, because ever since hearing his TED speach, i’ve had this feeling that he is the Pope of our generation – the person with the power to unite us all.
i hope you all will listen to Bono’s impassioned plea, visit one.org and get involved. the revolution of the ants will start with one leader who can prove that our voices will be heard and our actions will succeed. i believe we are now ready for that leader and his name is Bono.