Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Inspiring words from Bono about ending Extreme Poverty

Bono, originally uploaded by Timothy Schenck.
Back in January, my then girlfriend, and now fiancée shared a quote with me from Bono through a facebook message. I have left the message marked as unread for the last eight months so I could one day sit down and write a blog post about it.

Here’s the quote.

It's an amazing thing to think that ours is the first generation in history that really can end extreme poverty, the kind that means a child dies for lack of food in its belly. That should be seen as the most incredible, historic opportunity but instead it's become a millstone around our necks. We let our own pathetic excuses about how it's "difficult" justify our own inaction. Be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we don't have is the will, and that's not a reason that history will accept.

I love the quote because it’s both inspiring and challenging. I think about Bono and the mixed reviews he gets in the social justice circles, but I must admit I’m inspired by his perseverance in his efforts to end extreme poverty. Since the 1980s Bono and U2 have worked pretty tirelessly to expose their fans to more than a concert or some new tunes. They have pushed, prodded, and encouraged engagement with the hurts of this world. I can remember being very young listening to U2 and hearing about their work toward justice, long before I had any inkling of the severity of hurt and suffering that exists in our world. Bono inspires in this quote by pointing to a truth that all of my friends at Nuru and in many other development organizations hold to tenaciously—we can end extreme poverty!

I believe with all of my being that we can! But what I wonder about is whether we have the will to accomplish the task. As much as there are a growing number of people who have said enough is enough, ours is a generation of distraction as well. Saying yes to ending extreme poverty means that we need people who will persevere in contributing to the end. It doesn’t mean that every person needs to change their career, but for some it does. It did for me. It doesn’t mean that every person needs to contribute financially to ending extreme poverty, but again, for some it does. Again, it did for me. What it does mean, is that every person needs to take stock of their life and ask if they care enough to do something. I believe it’s going to take a contribution from all who are able if we want to see the end of extreme poverty.

When she shared this quote, she sent me an additional note, and encouraged me by saying, “You have the ‘will,’ keep running hard!” I know that there are many who have already joined the fight, and who are contributing toward ending extreme poverty, but there is still much work to do. Will you run with me? Will you exercise the power of your will to eradicate this generation’s greatest humanitarian crisis?

There are over one billion people on our planet who are waiting for you to join us in the fight!

Let’s go!


Eric said...

Dude! You're engaged?!?! How did that not make it on the blog? Seriously, though, congratulations on the great news.

chanchanchepon said...

hahaha. yeah, dude! Just wanting to find the right time to write all about it. You can read Jamie's blog about it here. http://jmreaser.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. It's been some time since I read this quote from Bono. For better or worse, he was a big influence in a search that led me to Christ. And he continues to inspire me to do my part in helping to end poverty.