Where Europe needs to go. I wonder what leaders in the EU make of that statement? Real leadership requires visionaries, who sometimes come in the form of rock stars, while we the people get stuck with power-hungry politicians whose vision stops at the size of a corporate donation. Bono meets with politicians like Erdogan and Sarkozy, attempting to sway their views with his charismatic charm braced with knowledge. He champions that all-too-rare belief that with fortune comes the responsibility to give back, setting an example that democracy requires active involvement from all of us, regardless of our economic status.
Massive events like this concert are theater, I know. But human beings have been brought together by drama, by comedy, though performance arts since before recorded history. Though melodies and languages change, story-telling through song is in our collective blood. No one is immune. Some showmen are all smoke and mirrors, little substance. We listen for a good time, to dance and sing, to forget our daily lives. But Bono and U2 speak to something much deeper than mere entertainment. Not everyone may like their music, but it’s tough to disagree with the message: We’re all in this together.
Bono introduced “One” by saying, “We're going to change the name of this song to 'The Bridge' ". That metaphor is a cliché to those of us who live here, but that is the role that Turkey could provide with its unique position in the world. “We are one, but we’re not the same”, the song goes. It’s truly as simple as that. One planet, one human family in all its glorious diversity. That we fixate on those differences and ignore our commonalities is unfortunate human nature. But sometimes, even for two hours, a crowd of at least 50,000 people from not only Turkey but all over the world, can be on the same wavelength, can be reminded that there are many in this world we must help, can realize that we are in charge of removing those barriers.
Wherever we are, we are ONE. This is why I love U2 – the music is riveting and danceable, yes – but they have the courage to speak their hearts, and ours.