NPR Morning Edition recently interviewed Bono, the lead singer of U2, about his guest editing of special issue of Vanity Fair referred to as the “African issue”. I love what Bono had to say regarding his guest editing stint and how he came about doing this issue:
“As annoying as I know can be going on and on about the ridiculous issues of huge obstacles in the way of everyday Africans, those Africans, particularly middle class, find it very difficult that we consistently portray them as a sort of basket case. And when we do, we fail them. And we do have to do better at getting this across. And I went to Graydon Carter and – because his magazine –“ – Bono
This caused me to think once again about memes and how easily we humans fall into “what everyone else is doing or saying” without really stopping to consider what we think or how we feel about something, Africa being a case in point. At the risk of sounding the tail end of the baby boom generation that I come from, I’m grateful for reminders such as this one from Bono to think about what it is that we believe and to be very careful about what we assume.
I haven’t ever visited Africa, I can only go by what I see on television or read in the magazines, newspapers or books, but I have always been attracted to Africa. I’m a huge animal lover, I love the rhythm, dance and song that I have heard from Africa and the African people who I have crossed paths. Just last year I met three people who escaped from Uganda during the siege and each had horrific stories of their fight for survival. Yet, each of my African friends also had much beauty and love to share about their continent and country as well. I realized through talking with my friends that I had entered into a deep, rich, earthy conversation about life—there was no “light talk” to be had; however burbling joyful laughter could erupt at any moment depending on where the conversation was taking us.
The whole point of this article today is to encourage you to pay attention to what you think, feel and believe and to ask questions of yourself and others. Having spent much of my work history in the marketing, advertising and sales realm, I realize how easy it can be for us to accidentally slip into believing what is fantasy and then fantasy becomes fact and before you know it we’re all living our lives based on an idea that isn’t something we would have necessarily bought into had we’d given ourselves time to think about it.
What is one idea that you can think differently about today?
(recently posted at www.lifebeforebusiness.com)