Know Your Bonoisms, Part 17: One But Not the Same


It’s been so long since I’ve written a Bonoisms column that I actually had to look up what number I was on. Okay, 17. Two more until I can do some fun Bono word play with that. “Sa-sa-sa-sa-seventeen” doesn’t really work, so I’d better wait it out. But here’s why I’m reprising my Bonoisms column here on U2 Radio today: the meaning of One.

What does “one love, one life” mean to you? How about “one life, with each other…sisters, brothers”? For me, it’s all about the next line: “One life, but we’re not the same.” Regardless, “we get to carry each other. CARRY EACH OTHER. ONE.” Does that mean that as human beings who happen to be U2 fans, we just stand around and say “love and peace” all the time at each other? I don’t think so – but, does it mean that we all share the same viewpoints? Just because they’re Bono’s viewpoints? Um, no. I certainly hope not, because as I have already pointed out to the delight of some and the chagrin of others, Bono is not God.

For instance, Bono might feel certain ways about some of the specific issues we deal with here in the United States – and I respect his viewpoints. But I don’t have to feel the same way about any particular issue just because I’m a U2 fan. And if you do, good for you; I’m not going to call you any names just because we disagree. Likewise, I hope that you’ll respect my viewpoints and resist the temptation to tell me I’m not a “real” U2 fan just because I don’t check all the same boxes. That’s what One is about: not being the same, and respecting that. Respecting the differences in each other, and yes, I’m also talking about political differences, which always seem to hit a fever pitch during an election season.

We’re not the same, and that’s okay. We can still be one – and if you don’t believe me, see what Bono’s own organization has to say about it. Here, it points out that the One Campaign name is inspired by people of different sides coming together, which includes people on the political left and right. So yeah, it really isn’t that hard.

Photo credit: PatrickS,

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U2 community builder, actualist, sometimes full of anger and grieving. Contact: IG @brookwf, X @U2radiobrook.

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