This post from Matt got me thinking about Bono. I have to admit that I am fairly ignorant of the man, his music and his causes - although I am probably most familiar with his causes. He seems to have almost a cult following, especially in bloggerville. So, I thought I'd ask a few questions of you all to get a better idea of why you all admire him so much. Do you think that:
  1. he is someone who leads a life of sacrifice?
  2. people feel admiration for him based on something other than his notoriety and his advocacy for causes he believes in?
  3. he is someone that inspires those that know him best?
  4. he really has influence with world leaders?
  5. he would be a good friend?
  6. people like him just because he is cool?
  7. it is not nice to ask questions about Bono?
I am looking forward to hearing from you all - those who are Pro-Bono and those that are not :)


  1. Thanks for the link. I'll have to answer several of the questions as a group, since I am still not familiar enough with Bono to answer them all with any great accuracy. I had the opportunity to meet him once and listen to a talk he gave to about a dozen members of Congress and some select staff (where the picture on my post was taken), and I came away extremely impressed. Here is a man who most obviously has a command of the areas which concern him, and he spoke at some length and quite eloquently without a single note in front of him. He also mentioned that while most folks read novels or books of history when they go to bed at night, he sits up and reads UN reports and papers on humanitarian issues and areas of concern to the global community. Without a doubt, he's committed to what he's doing.

    I also think that he does have an influence on world leaders, if for no other reason than the fact that these leaders recognize that he represents large blocs of their constituencies around the world. More than that, though, and again relating back to the one time I heard him speak, he is extremely knowledgeable and very persuasive in his arguments, and I think he really can sway the opinions of folks.

    On the aspect of being friends with him, I've seen that it is possible -- my first boss in Congress, who for a time was chairman of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Appopriations Committee (oversight over spending for many of the areas with which Bono is concerned) became great friends with him. Bono was able to change his mind on several areas in a series of conversations (including debt relief, to some extent), and the two actually chatted often and saw each other whenever possible. Theirs was a friendship that developed initially from the necessity of discussing these things and into an area of mutual respect and admiration.

  2. I just lost my entire comment. Going to retype in Word and cut and paste. You did know you'd get some LONG comments on this, right?

  3. Bob, yes, I love Bono. Even if he was not an activist and humanitarian, I would love him based on his music. I can’t emphasize enough how much I love the music, not just the man. But I do love the man too, and here are my answers to your questions:

    1. I don’t know if he lives a life of sacrifice financially, but he does sacrifice a lot of time and energy for what he believes in. I don’t think he extravagantly spends like some millionaires, but I’d guess that he and his family live quite well.

    2. I can’t speak for others but I feel admiration for him for several reasons. Number one is that he has stayed with his convictions all these years. Many people don’t realize that U2 has been around for 31 years! They formed in ’76. Bono has been accused of being arrogant but he has never been accused of anything immoral or illegal. I admire that. He remains married to the same woman and loves his kids.

    3. I think he inspires people that believe in their hearts that one person can make a difference but it usually takes one FAMOUS person to be heard loud and clear. He’s used his fame in a positive way. He openly admits that he uses his fame, he’s thankful to have fame to use. If he was just some random bloke from Dublin, who would listen to him?

    4. He obviously does have influence with world leaders. From what I’ve seen and read he doesn’t “play politics” he’s focused on one thing and will talk to anyone regardless of their political views to get his agenda across. His agenda is not power, its aid for those who need it.

    5. Would he be a good friend? I have no idea. My guess is that he sincerely cares for his friends but his lifestyle limits the amount of time he’d have to devote to his friends. I think the band is probably his closest friends and he seems to be very supportive of each of them. It’s also rare for a big name band to stay together for over 30 years with absolutely no changes – the same four guys from day one.

    6. I don’t like him just because he’s cool, in fact sometimes I wish he weren’t so cool because that gives people that don’t like him something negative to say about him. But he is pretty darn cool.

    7. I think its fine to ask questions about him! Every time I bring him up on my blog I get comments for those who love him, hate him or just don’t care either way.

    Bottom line: He’s authentic, his compassion is genuine, he loves God and is a Christian man (as far as any of us can tell about each other being Christians) and he’s incredibly gifted and talented. His naysayers will have other things to say about him, but that’s ok. I don’t think it bothers him one bit, it doesn’t bother me to hear it anymore either. I will defend him until the day he does something dishonest or self-promoting (and I doubt that day will come).

  4. Hi Bob. I do like Bono and U2. Let me take a stab at your questions.

    he is someone who leads a life of sacrifice?

    I would guess not financial sacrifice. I think he lives like a rock star with all the material trappings. Like Barbara I think he does sacrifice his time to be able to do all that he does for the world's poor. I suppose doing that is time he would rather spend in other ways so I would say it's a sacrifice.

    people feel admiration for him based on something other than his notoriety and his advocacy for causes he believes in?

    I do admire him for his advocacy for the poor but I also love his music. I've been a U2 fan since the 80's. His faith in action only makes me love him more.

    he is someone that inspires those that know him best?

    I don't know. I think he inspires his fans, but I'm not sure about those closest to him. I would imagine so. I'n not sure how you could be close to someone who was that passionate about something without catching a bit of that passion yourself.

    he really has influence with world leaders?

    I think so. I think they know he represents a lot of us regular folk who are not in the position to speak to them. I like that he will sit down at the table with anyone for the sake of his causes.

    he would be a good friend?

    I have no idea. He has said that he's a bit obsessed and that realtionships have suffered for it. On the other hand he has also said that his family and friends come first, well before his career. I suppose the fact that his wife has stayed married to him for 20 some years and his bandmates have stuck with him as well must say something for the kind of friend he is.

    people like him just because he is cool?
    Some probably do. He is cool but that's not why I like him.

    it is not nice to ask questions about Bono?

    Oh go ahead, I don't mind.

  5. I think he actually lives a reasonably modest life, given his need to protect himself, and I give him a lot of credit for trying to do the right thing, a quality notoriously absent in a lot of famous people.

    He's a good model, whether you like his music or not (and I'm not all that crazy about it).

  6. I’m not sure what all the hubbub is about over him but I did buy the red phone. I think that we have greater humanitarians then him they just get less press. I’m a Mother Teresa fan myself, now that lady rocked.

  7. I can't speak to all that, I know very little about Bono. What I do know I've liked.

    My general comment on the questions is this: do we ask too much of people? He has his gifts and seems to use them well. It's enough for me.


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