Doing It His Way

U2 has never been on my playlist. I stopped listening to rock music years before they hit the scene because I had discovered Miles and ‘Trane and Bird. Until yesterday I thought The Edge was a wrestler, not a guitar player. I knew of Bono because of his success in persuading the wealthy and powerful to support his causes – ending poverty, promoting health around the world. The umbrella organization ONE is merely one recent effort.

Anyway, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that he had writing talent, after all he has been writing songs for years. I just assumed, though, that an aging rocker couldn’t string words together in a coherent essay. Plus there were those glasses …

So I was thrilled to discover that as the Times’s newest guest columnist, he has something important to say that wasn’t directly connected to his activism. And he said it well. “Notes From the Chairman” is a paean to the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. According to Bono, Old Blue Eyes delivered important messages in song, with the use of his voice. The message the lad from Dublin took to heart is that everyone must seize each and every moment and find the very best in it. And in the way ‘coincidences’ have been following me since I wrote about them, I checked my email after I wrote that sentence. Here is the inspiration of the week, which I receive every Monday: “Take each moment of each day one step at a time.”

Bono places his message in the setting of celebrating New Year’s Eve as the financial juggernaut dubbed Celtic Tiger has been tamed, cowed even, and everyone is wondering what next. For Bono, it’s following Sinatra’s advice.

And it seems to be working.

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