Why I Love Bono
Saturday night, I saw U2 perform The Joshua Tree album (and a number of their other big hits) in Chicago.
A great concert from a great band - one that has endured for almost four decades. Not many bands have done that. Indeed, not many bands (at all) can sell out Soldier Field for multiple nights in a row. U2 is one of those few.
U2 is, of course, ably led by Bono, one of the greatest songwriters, singers and frontmen of our time. His words, his voice, his emotion have brought to life many of the best songs of our time. Songs that are an integral part of the jukebox of my life.
In addition, his commitment to use his position to work to eradicate poverty, impact AIDS and empower those who need help around the world, is nothing short of magnificent.
To me, Bono is the example.
He's doing what he loves. He's passionate about his music and it shows.
He's a smart businessman. He's been able to leverage his band's success to create a successful and profitable organization that supports more than simply the four band members.
He's been afforded tremendous fame and he's used it to give voice to those less fortunate. He's done more to help more people around the world than many of us ever can or will.
His message, whether in music or his other endeavors, is about compassion, togetherness, oneness. It's positive.
Bono is the example.
Which is why I love Bono. And I'm not ashamed to say it.
Yes, there are haters. Plenty of folks ready to put him down.
People who say he has a huge ego. (I'm sure he does - you need to, to achieve extraordinary success. Why does anyone have to apologize for that?)
People who say he can't adopt the moral high ground as he talks about saving the world when, on the other hand, he has immense wealth and lives a life of luxury. (Why not? Based on whose rules?)
People who say he doesn't walk the talk when it comes to taxes. (U2 pays plenty in taxes but as with any smart business, are intelligent about it. Being a musician doesn't mean abdicating fiscal sense. Would you pay more if you didn't need to?)
People who say he likes to pose as the white savior to the problems of Africa. (Which I don't agree with - his message has always been, not to give charity per se, but to empower people to help themselves.)
Yes, he has haters. But, you know, who gives a shit about them?
I focus, instead, on the positive.
Bono has put himself out there. He followed his dream and achieved it. He's used his fame in a positive way. He's made change. He's got things done. Isn't that what matters?
To me, he's the example to follow.
Which is why, I love Bono.