In naming Bono Person of the Year, Time labeled him a good Samaritan. But this powerful biblical image misses the point of Bono’s significance as a celebrity leader. He goes beyond being a high-profile good Samaritan—he stretches the moral imagination of his musical audience so that they, too, see the need to reach out to their global neighbors. In their own way, Bono and his band U2 deliver the message that we are, or at least can be, one world.
Douglas A. Hicks is associate professor of leadership studies and religion at the University of Richmond and author of Money Enough: Everyday Practices for Living Faithfully in the Global Economy (Jossey-Bass).