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Old 10-15-2005, 06:14 PM   #1
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Thought this was an interesting article

I don't really know much about it, but it was in my newsletter. It's an interesting read.

U2 ’s Bono kneels humbly in the spotlight
Posted on Saturday, October 8, 2005

U2 ’s sold-out "Vertigo" world tour opened just after Easter in San
Diego, spent the summer in Europe — where the band also performed at
the Live 8 African aid concert in London — returned to North America
(Toronto and Chicago) in September and will wrap up just before
Christmas in Portland, Ore.

The tour offers plenty of high-energy music and potent spiritual
messages, as Bono kneels during some of the band’s songs. "I don’t know
if I can take it," he sings at one point. "I’m not easy on my knees."
But on his knees is precisely where this world-renowned leader of the
world’s reigning rock band frequently finds himself.

He isn’t the first performer to kneel on stage. Soul legend James
Brown’s concerts featured an elaborate ritual of kneeling and rising.
But with Bono the gesture conveys something more than stagecraft, in
part because of his radical Christian commitment, which is more evident
during the "Vertigo" tour than in many previous U2 outings.

We’re accustomed to seeing rock stars preening or strutting, but when
Bono kneels, there’s a sense that he’s humbling himself — before God
and before his many fans, some of whom have criticized his crusading
about social issues like AIDS in Africa by calling him "St. Bono."

Celebrity and humility make an unusual mix, but not as unusual as you
might think. Bruce Springsteen made the connection during his U2
induction speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March.

Springsteen acknowledged that Bono possesses "one of the most endearing
naked messianic complexes in rock ’n’ roll," but then he completed the
picture. "His voice is shot through with self-doubt," said Springsteen.
"The constant questioning in Bono’s voice is where the band stakes its
claim to its humanity and declares its commonality with us: ‘ Here we
are, Lord, this mess, in your image. ’"

Perhaps Bono is helping us clarify some of our misunderstandings about
humility and pride as suggested by Irish-born writer C. S. Lewis in his
book Mere Christianity. "If anyone would like to acquire humility, I
can, I think, tell him the first step," wrote Lewis. "The first step is
to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least,
nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not
conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed."

Bono has been able to acknowledge his own rock-godness, confront his
own massive ego, and move on, as I saw myself firsthand over a decade

I had been asked to speak at Greenbelt Festival, an English Christian
arts and music festival that brings together thousands of people every
summer. Bono came to Greenbelt that year, but not to perform or pose.
He came to attend the workshops and enjoy the music.

Whenever someone told him he looked like Bono, the singer responded: "I
hear that often. That’s why I bought these shades, to complete the

And when the event’s organizers complained that their staff was too
overworked to untangle an on-site traffic jam, Bono volunteered to help
direct the angry drivers to their parking spots.

Such humility is a far different thing from humiliation, which is
something we see quite regularly today. This year has seen a string of
greedy corporate executives lowering their heads before judges and
admitting that they ripped off their companies and their investors.
Michael Jackson, formerly hailed as the "King of Pop," has seen his own
carefully honed image self-destruct.

The difference between humility and humiliation is that one is a
voluntary admission that God — not you — is the ruler of the universe.
The other is involuntary, and painful.

Bono’s humility is also seen in his willingness to serve something more
significant than his own ego. As a multimillionaire, he could easily
pursue unbridled self-gratification. But ever since he and his wife,
Ali, visited Africa after 1985 ’s Live Aid benefit concerts, he has
used his growing celebrity to serve those whose names will never make
the headlines. "I genuinely believe that second only to personal
redemption, the most important thing in the Scriptures — 2,103 passages
in all — refers to taking care of the world’s poor," the singer told
The Los Angeles Times.

So can a rock superstar really teach us anything about humility? Things
more amazing than that can happen for those who heed the words of
Christ, who, 2,000 years ago, said, "Many who are first will be last,
and many who are last will be first."

Tony Campolo is an author and international speaker whose latest book
is Speaking My Mind. Author and journalist Steve Rabey assisted in the
writing of this column.

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Old 10-18-2005, 12:07 AM   #2
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Thanks. I missed this article. What a rock star can teach us is that they are human, they are normal people just like you and I are. Interesting definition of the difference between humility and humiliation. Hadn't ever given it that much thought but it make sense.
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