by Amelia from San Diego

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A troubled teenage boy, with ambitions to be rock star, would have never expected to become a world activist. But the heart follows what the heart wants to follow. Bono's heart happened to lead him right into the greatest struggles in Africa, debt and disease. Bono, born Paul David Hewson in Dublin Ireland, was raised in a home of two faiths. His religious beliefs were often looked down on. The most crushing blow in Bono's life came when his mother, Iris Hewson, died from a brain hemorrhage. Bono's rough relationship with his father became worse, and he turned into a rebellious teen. He found solace in his new band, consisting of four members, U2 was formed. U2 became a well known and successful rock band. As their story continued, Bono, the lead singer, found himself performing in a benefit concert, followed by a trip that changed his life. While in a refugee camp in Africa, he witnessed poverty he thought did not exist. What makes Bono a hero is his drive to improve the lives of millions, whether by founding organizations or meeting with world leaders.The millions stricken by poverty in Africa know that Bono's devotion knows no boundaries. His fearlessness to take risks for others, his heart of gold, and his endless dedication prove him to be a hero.

Bono and Nelson Mandela in a visit to South Africa ( ())
Bono and Nelson Mandela in a visit to South Africa ( ())

Bono's extreme courage and fearlessness in times of darkness are what drives him to take risks for the benefit of millions. On many occasions, Bono has been in a situation where the average person would either quit or shy away from danger. In some cases, it's not only him he is putting in danger:"What added the extra edge was the band, and Bono in particular, had gotten death threats in the past for criticizing the actions of the Irish Republican Army (IRA)." (Trachtenberg). Bono has put himself and his bandmates in danger, but he continued to speak out and perform due to his courage. Only a person with no fear would face a crowd in which a killer could be lurking. Yet to be heard, you have to speak out. That's exactly what Bono did. Of course Bono is only human, like all of us, and sometimes we doubt ourselves:"That's the only time I actually thought about failure." (Trachtenberg). In possibility of failure, Bono still prevailed, a hero must be fearless. Without this trait; a hero would never take a chance, or even begin to make a difference. If Bono had let possible failure get in the way of his mission, he would never be where he was today, saving millions and changing the world. When a fearless hero first comes to mind, you might picture a knight slaying a dragon, or a prince saving his princess from an evil stepmother. In reality, a fearless hero puts others before themselves, who faces danger with courage and dignity, and wants to change the world, no matter what it takes.

Bono promoting RED campaign ( ())
Bono promoting RED campaign ( ())

Compassion is at the core of every hero; and without it, they can't feel sorrow, sympathy, or love for others. Bono certainly does have compassion. While in Africa observing the condition of its people, he witnessed something that he had thought to be non- existent:"'Its a truly shocking sight to wake up and look over a hill, the morning mist hanging, and see thousands and thousands of people in rags who've walked all night to come to our feeding station."'(Bono). Bono had not been exposed to such poverty before this. He realized the need for help, and for someone to make it happen. This quote supports his quality of compassion because if someone did not feel responsible for these people, nothing would happen. His value of love drives him to feel for those less fortunate:"'We have at least written into the DNA the idea that God created every man equal and that love is at the heart of the universe."' (U2 By U2). Bono's core values of love and compassion are the nucleus of his work and commitment to the people of Africa, this quote supports compassion because he truly believes that all people are created equally and love can solve some of the worlds biggest problems concerning the quality of life. It's his belief that basic humanity supports the notion that we should help each other. In conclusion, compassion's at the heart of all great change, and Bono has it. His feelings for those impacted by poverty, who are starving and thirsty with no home or and means of carrying on, are what made him want to change the world. A hero with no heart does not exist, or they are not helping for the right reason. A true heart changes the world.

Bono has focused on several contributing factors bringing Africa down. He is dedicated to fixing them:"In between the building of hospitals and schools, and the commitment to cancel 100 billion dollars in debt, is a lot of red tape and bureaucracy. Everyone passing the buck and hiding in the small print. And we're going after each one of them." (Trachtenberg). Despite countries reluctance towards releasing Africa of its debt, Bono and his team continue to press forward with their efforts. Bono and his global team are tracking down corrupt leaders and bringing them to justice to relieve debt in Africa and get the country self-reliant and thriving again. This quote proves his dedication because no matter how hard the task is, he is dedicated to making it happen. On the urgency for help in Africa concerning malaria:"'7,000 Africans dying every day of a preventable, treatable disease is not a cause, it's an emergency."' (Bono). Bono takes nothing about his efforts lightly, and he realizes the severity of the causes he is dealing with, his non-stop dedication and devotion keep him working until the job is done. His dedication has been praised by the worlds foremost political leaders. In Trachtenberg's book, President Clinton notices Bono's "passionate devotion". A hero with no dedication is like a fire with no wood. To achieve a goal, someone must be willing to make it happen, that was why Bono is the man for the job. With his hard work and devotion, there's nothing he can't do.

(RED) Campaign Logo ( ())
(RED) Campaign Logo ( ())

A goal without action can't be achieved, a cause without a heart cannot be cured, and a mission without courage will never be accomplished. Bono is a humanitarian rockstar because of the impact he has made on the people in Africa. Malnourished and beaten by poverty, they seemingly had no hope. With the founding of (RED), EDUN, and several more organizations, help was on the way. Along with helping the people, Bono believed desperately in relieving Africa of its financial burdens. His fearlessness led him straight into meetings with corrupt world leaders. Despite struggles, his heart guided him to keep going, and his devotion to Africans never let him give up. What inspires me about Bono, is his pure love for others. From the song "Miracle Drug" off of U2's 2004 album, "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" the lyric "...Of science and the human heart, there is no limit." That is why Bono is a hero, his belief that we can open our hearts to no end, and that as long as we live, there will always be more to give. I admire his way of seeing a problem, and committing himself to fixing it. Bono was not the witness who simply chose to let something go. He was the person who committed himself from the moment he saw others pain to fixing it. Something humans lack is pure sympathy for others, but a hero realizes this. A hero sees a problem and fixes it. A hero will never give up. We fail to see the value of how blessed our lives are, and we don't realize what's going on in the world, but Bono does. He knows that he has the tools to change the world, and instead of letting them sit in a box, he is using those tools.    

Works Consulted

"Bono." Bono (Biography Today) (2010): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 9 Dec. 2012

 "Bono." Newsmakers. Detroit: Gale, 1988. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.

 Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. U2 BY U2. Hammersmith:

      HarperCollinsPublishers, 2006. Print.

 Cooney, Martha. "Bono (Paul Hewson)." Bono (2010): 1. Biography Reference Center. Web. 9

      Dec. 2012.

 Kamberg, Mary-Lane. Bono: Fighting World Hunger and Poverty. New York: Rosen Pub. Group,

      2009. Print.

 Trachtenberg, Martha. Bono Rock Star Activist. Berkeley Heights: Enslow, 2008. Print.

"Where You Are Born Shouldn't Dictate Whether You Live or Die." ONE Homepage Comments.

      ONE Campaign, 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

Page created on 1/10/2013 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 1/10/2013 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

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(RED) Campaign
Rolling Stone - Bono was featured in the Rolling Stone magazine.
Bono Biography

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