Last weekend, some friends and I drove down to Philadelphia to be a part of the Live 8 concerts – billed as the biggest music event in history because of it’s global scope and the size of the tv, radio, and online audience – which aimed to raise awareness, and a certain amount of political pressure, for the upcoming G8 summit in Scotland. It was hot, it was crowded, and it was worth it. Even though we didn’t have the best spot to view the concerts – if there was a good spot other than close to the stage or jumbotrons – we were able to listen to some great music and stand with thousands upon thousands all over the world for this momentous event. It’s hard to tell what kind of impact Live 8 or the ONE Campaign will have on the summit this week or what effect the summit will have on global poverty. Only time will tell. But it is a rare thing for there to be so much excitement, momentum, and opportunity surrounding a single issue. I’m sure that many who showed up in Philly or London or any of the other global concerts came for the free music and nothing else. I’m not sure how many left with a sense of being a part of something so important, so meaningful. I know I did.
When a situation arises and we – as Americans, as the wealthy of the world, as human beings – hold within our hands a solution that will effectively bring about a positive and lasting change for the countless people who struggle around the world, we also hold the responsibility to make that difference. It’s not about politics, it’s about people. And we can change lives. I hope we make the right choice and do what is right.