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Archive for the ‘One.org’ Category

Bono Speaks

“A good salesman sells people what they need but a great salesman awakens the need inside them for something they didn’t know they wanted but now have to have.” (video)

Quoting Warren Buffett, “Don’t appeal to the conscience of America.   Appeal to the greatness of American and I think you’ll get the job done.”  And, “Don’t make it too easy for people.  Make it difficult for people. They prefer that.”

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I wrote this post a year and a half ago when I first started blogging. I’m reposting it as a follow on to today’s earlier post. One is still the best campaign out there for fighting poverty.

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Yesterday I was in line to get a cup of coffee and I saw a man with a bunch of rubber bracelets. You know the kind Lance Armstrong started with his Livestrong campaign. I thought Livestrong was a brilliant idea. Then everyone had them. They were everywhere, which is simply a testimony to how great the idea was.

I even got one. It said “courage” on it. I actually got it from Taco Bell for 25 cents from a vending machine. My son, who is four always gets two quarters when we go to Taco Bell and he didn’t have a clue what it was. He just knew it wasn’t the Ninja guy he wanted. So he gave it to me. I wore it for a while because I like what it meant. I liked being reminded of the idea of courage. Unfortunately it was cheap (what do you expect for a quarter) and broke after about a month. I threw it away and didn’t think about it for a while.

And then a good friend of mine gave me a ONE bracelet. I believe in the One Campaign and what they are doing for social justice and fighting poverty. The ONE bracelets are made really well and they are white. I put it on and that was that.

So yesterday when I saw this guy in line I began to think of why I wear the bracelet. It has now been over 9 months that I’ve had it on and I have thought about the question before. Did I wear it because I wanted to make people aware of ONE.org? Yeah, a little. Did I wear it because it makes a cool statement about who I am? Not really. Did I wear it because it looks cool and everyone is doing it? No.

I wear it because it reminds me that we are part of the human race. We are God’s creation first, connected together. I am called to love and be loved in community. The bracelet reminds me of that. It reminds me to remember those less fortunate than myself. It reminds me to love my neighbor and to be part of the solution.

That’s why I wear the bracelet.

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Stop asking God to bless what you are doing.  And start asking God what he is doing because its already blessed. (Some guy who influences Bono)

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There’s nothing worse than a rock star with a cause but celebrity is currency and that is how I choose to spend my money.” Bono

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I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a scholar (no joke) on U2. He knows every song, note, lyrics and meaning of every song. He knows the back stories, which song is on what album and in what order, and the year it was published. He knows release dates, personal stories of each band member and their families. He once joked he could write a dissertation and get an A. I actually believe him.

The conversation led us to why Bono resonates specifically with the emerging church. And I began to realize, after listening to a lot of the back stories he was providing, that U2 has always been a Christian band. They just don’t advertise it. They sing about redemption (Bad), and the mystery of love (Mysterious Ways), and speaking to people’s dignity (One, about ten other songs), the love of a father (Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own, Kite) longing for more (Beautiful Day, Elevation, Saints Are Coming, I Still…). And these are themes that resonates with the emerging church. And they’ve been doing it for two decades. It’s just as easy to find a song that resonates on their first album as it is the last.

We want an expression of our faith that is holistic. We want an expression that brings positive change to the world. We want a poetry that reveals the beauty and the tension of the journey. It’s not easily displayed in a bullet point or chart, better left to a rhythm and rhyme. U2 has been singing about the Christian experience for EVER. It’s not always happy. It’s rarely pretty, but it is good and it is worth seeking out.

And now Bono is leading the way with One.org in a fight for world poverty. He’s helping us to see that we are one humanity. Each person is still God’s creation, no matter how broken and torn apart. He’s speaking to the justice of ending world poverty, because we can. And in doing so he’s reaching in a showing us what the best of each of us looks like. This is profound.

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“Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world.”

Bono

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One.org, which I am a compassionate advocate, commissioned the Vote ’08 campaign campaign to address global inequities in health and standard of living. The findings have been released and are interesting. Fighting extreme poverty matters to just about everyone.

Some of the data:

– There is bipartisan support for Presidential candidates who support measures to improve disease prevention, reduce hunger and improve education.

The majority of both Republicans (62%) and Democrats (77%) would be more likely to support a candidate who supports saving 15,000 lives a day by fighting the world’s most devastating diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Similarly, the majority of both Republicans (60%) and Democrats (76%) would also be more likely to support a candidate who supports reducing by half the number of people in the world who suffer from hunger and live in extreme poverty, which would mean 300 million less hungry people each year. Additionally, 54% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats would be more likely to support a candidate who supports providing greater access to primary education for 77 million children who are not in school with a special emphasis on girls.

The majority of Republicans (52%) and Democrats (80%) also supports new approaches to how the United States provides foreign assistance, such as increasing micro-credit to help people start small businesses, and doing more to eliminate corruption to make sure the economies of developing nations thrive and that help goes to the people most in need. In short, members affiliated with both parties (73% Democrats / 62% Republicans) would be more likely to support a candidate who supports increased investments in foreign assistance programs and working with other countries to strengthen national security.

(Source here)

It’s nice to see that a tide is turning. We really can be the first generation to end extreme poverty.

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