Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Persons of the Year

Last evening I read with great interest the newest edition of TIME magazine. It's their annual Person of the Year edition. This year, they chose three people for their efforts to change the world - Bono and Bill & Melinda Gates (the byline calls them "The Good Samaritans"). It's quite a fascinating read that I recommend. Of course, all of these people are highly criticized for this or that. Reminds me of an anonymous quote I once saw in Reader's Digest:
"To avoid criticism is to do nothing, to say nothing, and to be nothing."

A friend of mine who occasionally checks in here once said of Bono "Who made him president, anyway?" To which I replied I would vote for him tomorrow. He's getting more accomplished than most politicians can ever dream. He's more than your typcial loudmouth rock star. He's a student of the world, and has an unbelievable strategic effort behind the scenes to end poverty and provide vaccines to millions who don't have access to the health care we take for granted. The Edge (did his mother name him that?) said that the best thing U2 has going for it is that Bono is "unelectable." Not sure what he means exactly, but I think he's right.

As for the Gates', they're attacking the root of the problems of both hunger and disease in some very interesting ways. Yes, as my father-in-law whined last night "Sure they're giving billions...they've got billions to give!" ( far, their foundation has an endowment of something like 29 billion)Lots of folks have that opinion. But most people are doing nothing with what they personally have. These people have the influence and the dollars to make the world better in a hurry, and they refuse to sit back and count their interest and do nothing. Many will still criticize the evil Microsoft empire and the foul-mouthed rock stars (again, Christians I know who throw the baby out with the bath water.... does one curse word on national TV negate a guy's faith and all the acts of compassion he's catalyzed???). I however applaud them. Get the new issue of TIME. Read it. And act on it.

1 comment:

  1. Larz,

    The bathwater:
    (from a recent beliefnet interview)

    I: For all that, U2 has often been seen as a Christian rock band.

    "We really f--ked that up, though. We really f--ked up our corner of the Christian market. I think carrying moral baggage is very dangerous for an artist. If you have a duty, it's to be true and not cover up the cracks. I love hymns and gospel music, but the idea of turning your music into a tool for evangelism is missing the point.
    Music is the language of the spirit anyway. Its first function is praise to creation--praise to the beauty of the woman lying next to you, or the woman you would like to lie next to you."

    "Now, for all its failings and its perversions over the last 2,000 years--and as much as every exponent of this faith has attempted to dodge this idea--it is unarguably the central tenet of Christianity: that everybody is equal in God's eyes. So you cannot, as a Christian, walk away from Africa. America will be judged by God if, in its plenty, it crosses the road from 23 million people suffering from HIV, the leprosy of the day. What's up on trial here is Christianity itself. You cannot walk away from this and call yourself a Christian and sit in power. Distance does not decide who is your brother and who is not. The church is going to have to become the conscience of the free market if it's to have any meaning in this world--and stop being its apologist."



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