Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Lessons from Bono - Part 1

One of the books I am currently reading is Bono on Bono. I like Bono. I like his music because it is honest and he doesn't mince words. And I also like him cause I he, like me, believes that poverty can be made history and is working towards that. And he challenges convention.


There are some thoughts from the book which really hit home. Well, there are many of those really. I emailed Gina these thoughts and she thought these were blog material and that they should be shared with the wider audience. So, I will be putting up a select few of these thoughts in my blog along with my thoughts about his thoughts. Hopefully, this will be a series of posts.


“There are stories to tell that are not songs.”

This is one of the reasons he gave for working on this book project with the author. I just thought it was a cool quote.


“If you wake up in the morning with a melody in your head, as I do, it’s all about how much you compromise that melody to take it out of your head and put it into music.”

I feel this way about writing. I have sometimes compromised my ideas simply because I could not find the right words to express them. And when I wrote them, I would either end up something very different from what I started out with or I would not have expressed the idea in its entirety. I am glad I found his words to help me capture this compromise.


“It’s a very hierarchical business. What table you get in the restaurant tells how your career is doing. It’s happened to me many times, where you turn up at a restaurant or a club and they haven’t got the booking right and you have to queue or get turned away…

…But I don’t want to stray too far from the street. I’m not saying I’m not good at the penthouse life – but I’m also good at the pavement. That’s a source of pride for me, that I’m good at both. I’m good at high life, I’m good at the low life. It’s the middle where I lose it.”

I wish I could say that of myself… The bit about being good at both lives...


“…If you look to writers and painters and poets, then you’ll often find the search for the ecstatic, the trauma of religious experience.”

“All the Renaissance painters, torn between God, patronage, and the desires of the flesh.”

"Coolness might help in your negotiation with people through the world, maybe, but it is impossible to meet God with sunglasses on. It is impossible to meet God without abandon, without exposing yourself, being raw. That’s the connection with great music and great art, and that is why it’s uncomfortable, that is why cool is the enemy of it, because that’s the other reason you wanted to join a bad: you wanted to do the cool thing. Trying to capture religious experiences on tape wasn’t what you had in mind when you signed up for the job.”

I guess this is not something that only musicians and artists alone face. It is true of me and my work as well. Why do I want to do development work? Is it to please man, to earn a living or to do the Kingdom work? Like the artist I struggle with the three loyalties. The desire to be noticed, the desire to climb the rungs of career ladder, and the desire to serve – all three compete for attention.

16 comments:

Julie Layne said...

I'm going to have to check out the Bono book as well as the one you mentioned on the comment on my blog (about social entrepreneurship).

Looks like our blog brains have been in sync the last several days. :-) I'm going to post a link to them on my blog; you have written some good things to think about.

Julie Layne said...

Going to post a link to your postings, not to our blog brains, that is. Hehe!

chronicwriter said...

A major Book Critic in the making. Why do not you sign-up with some publication?

choconet said...

Make poverty history!

Me said...

wow. You know I never read autobiographies but your post makes me want to check out Bono's book.
:)

Anju said...

Yeah I never read auto-biographies either (which is weird because I'd want people to read mine) but he does sound interesting. I do like the title of his book too!

Bungi said...

Julie - Thanks for the link. And yeah, i found it interesting that you were talking about similar things. I do think you will enjoy both these books. The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs is another book i would like to lay my hands on.

CW - Ha ha. I am not sure if i would qualify as a book critic. For now, i will stick to development work.

Choconet - Amen!

Me - I am not too much of an autobiography person either. But this book is indeed different. His honesty is something else altogether. And it is in a conversational style. Nice to read.

Anju - Ha ha... I will think about whether i want to read your autobiography/biography. Even if i write a book, i hope not to write an autobiography.

PurpleHeart said...

I have though about why Bono was nominated THRICE for Nobel Peace Prize and never won. I seem to like his ideas (But 'm sure I cannot pull myslef to read any autobographies, Bono included ..hee hee). But I remember to have read his name in the list of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine, last year.

Jude said...

ok... so you're not talking about edward de.

Sandy Carlson said...

The business about comproming an idea to get it out of your head struck a chord with me. Always, it seems something is lost or distorted when thought becomes language. Perhaps this is the grief of the artist, to try to claim the bit that is lost en route to the world.

Maddie said...

Bhuv, nice one!! Will read his book :))

Brad Lewis said...

This is a great quote: (“If you wake up in the morning with a melody in your head, as I do, it’s all about how much you compromise that melody to take it out of your head and put it into music.”)

Although I would agree, perhaps a different perspective could be added: If you wake up in the morning with the melody is in your HEART, as I do, it may not be much of a compromise to take it out of your heart and put it into music. Just a thought.

Bungi said...

Sandhya - It is amazing, hey, that a person from the pop/rock music culture would be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize... I do think he is influential. This book is easy to read. And i am not too much of a biography person, either.

Jude - Nope. Not Edward de... But Paul David Hewson. I thought that was pretty self evident from the picture of the book (?!!)

Sandy - Too true...

Maddie - Thanks, man. Yeah. You should read it.

Brad - Welcome to my blog! Yeah. I guess you have a point there...

Jude said...

yeah i was thinking he didnt look like a psychologist

Ryan said...

If you have access to Youtube there is a great interview between Bono and Bill Hybels where Bono speaks his mind. It is in 8 parts and put up by VodafoneTeamMcLaren.

If you read Sachs "End of Poverty" you also need to read "the White Mans Burden" by William Easterly. Sachs is a top down big picture guy the governments can change everything. Easterly give a blow by blow response to Sachs and explains why a grass roots from the single person up method to global poverty will work. Think, did Jesus go to the leadership or to the people?

Bungi said...

Jude - :P

Ryan - I will access youtube sometime. And about Jeffrey Sach's book, yeah, i did want to read a criticism of that as well. Thanks for the recommendation.
I personally belive that there needs to be both a top-down and bottom-up approch if things were to change. I am hoping to do a post on that someday. Still waiting for the right words. May be after i read Sachs and Easterly.