I recently watched Bono’s speech he gave to Georgetown University. You can watch it here. It is a bit long, so grab a cuppa before you settle in and hit play.
I have great respect for Bono and the work that he and the amazing people at One do. The poverty issue is close to my heart, as it links with other big issues that I feel strongly about ie the sex slave industry.
Much of what he said resonated with me. One of the things he said that impacted me was that while it’s great to have heart for an issue, to feel compassion and empathy, it isn’t worth much without some action.
And I realised how true that is, all over again.
It’s easy to sit in our comfortable armchairs as the ads for World Vision flick past. It’s easy, even, to shed a tear at the sight of all those AIDS orphans with their swollen stomachs and flies buzzing around their eyes.
We may even think to ourselves that we should support a child in poverty. It tugs at our compassion and then we forget about it in the rush of our busy lives, only to maybe be prompted again the next time the ads on TV, where we have the whole thought process again – with the same ending.
We all know the saying it’s the thought that counts. Really? Really?? Think about it.
When did a good intention ever do anyone any actual good?
We need to be intentional about carrying through on our intentions.
Good intentions never fed a hungry child in Africa or rescued a child in Thailand.
Picking up the phone and calling an aid organisation and sponsoring a child is action.
Going to the One site, reading and becoming a member is action.
Committing to donating a portion of your yearly income to aids organisations is action.
Stop thinking about it and do it. Simply act.
Another thing Bono said was that until we really, truly, understand that that child starving in Africa, that mother dying of AIDS, has the exact same value as we do, we will do nothing.
Let me say that again – until we grasp that others have the same intrinsic value that we do, we will do nothing.
What will you do?