"I hang out with every set. . . . From the penthouse to the pavement but under the pavement."
Column: off the record ..., vol. 16-716
March 27, 2016
Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate this day! I love Easter because it signifies a new beginning. Spring has sprung, and trees and wildflowers are blooming. Birds are singing. In Texas, where I live, it’s an annual ritual to get outside the big cities this time of year to see wild bluebonnets blooming for miles. The giant blue-purple carpets are breathtaking. Empty cars parked along the highways are a common sight as people walk delicately through the bluebonnet fields to find just the right spot to take obligatory snapshots of children, pets, friends, partners and themselves.
For me, Easter is even more significant this year due to ongoing terror attacks around the world. When news broke last week of the bombings in Brussels, I was quickly snapped back to the Paris attacks and U2’s message to the world at that time. “We choose love over fear” is the message that stands out the most for me and reminds me that we must all hang on tight to our faith, optimism and hope in order to defeat evil. To our European brothers and sisters, we are thinking of you and sending you prayers for strength, courage and wisdom to navigate through these dark times.
Fortune magazine this week named Bono as one of its 50 World's Greatest Leaders. An accompanying article deftly describes Bono’s well-documented journey from activist to influencer to global leader. The success of initiatives he has founded and supported are impressive and clear. But I found the interviews with Bono to be quite interesting and revealing. At one point, he’s asked where his relentless drive comes from. His reply:
“You know,” he says, “we have a family prayer. And that is to be useful.” He falls silent. “I think that’s as close to it as I can get” to an answer.
I highly recommend reading this article. Speaking for myself, Bono and U2’s activities have drawn me into working on some of their causes like Amnesty International, ONE, Special Olympics and more. But what Bono’s example has shown me is to live a life of purpose and to truly engage in helping one another right where we are. Whether it be helping a friend with her ill, elderly cat or taking my mother to a doctor’s appointment, or building a house with Habitat for Humanity, it all matters. We don’t have to BE Bono, or have his money, influence or vision to make a difference. We can simply emulate him in our own ways.
Perhaps this paragraph from the Fortune article sums him up best:
If Bono has a motto, he’s adapted it from St. Francis: Go into all the world to preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words. “I love that one,” he says. “Actions, actions, actions. It’s about being useful, and that’s what I want to be.”
I still have the HBO subscription I started last November (to get the U2 HBO special) and left the TV on the other day for background sound while I worked. I heard Glen Hansard’s voice and looked up to see the movie Once playing. It stars Hansard as a Dublin street musician trying to make it big. It’s a poignant story about friendship and love between the street musician and a young Polish woman (played by Marketa Irglova) who is a pianist. The two musicians strike up a relationship, encouraging each other to chase their dreams. It’s a wonderful film that is well worth watching.
I must admit I didn’t know much about Glen Hansard until a few years ago when I saw photos and video of him busking with Bono on Grafton Street one Christmas Eve. Because of my love for U2, I’ve paid more attention to other Irish artists and have grown richer for it.
A couple of reminders:
Please complete our @atU2 fan survey if you have not yet done so. We want to hear from you! It is open until the end of March (this Thursday!).
In case you missed it, we had a lot of fun on the @atU2 Podcast #26 The Jazzman of the band, Mr. Adam Clayton. I may have gushed just a little bit.
Peace and blessings.
(c) @U2/Myers, 2016