There have been other large scale fund-raising events since Live Aid. But none as ground breaking as the one that took place on this day in 1985.
It wasn’t just the £30 million raised by the world’s biggest rock festival, much larger single sums are donated every year through a variety of humanitarian appeals. It was the traction given as a result to international relief programmes and especially the plight of Africa which changed things.
The fact that parts of Africa are still in huge need doesn’t detract from the important awareness raising which rock stars generated.
And it was all thanks to a few people who were willing to give their time and skill to sing, play a guitar or a drum.
Sometimes in our instant, news and social media saturated world, when compassion fatigue kicks in and yet another crisis shouts out for our attention, we wonder if there’s any point, how on earth can we change a global problem which seems beyond rescue and a system which seems irretrievably broken and unjust. We inwardly despair that any real difference is made by our meagre contribution.
But Live Aid, and events like it, tell us it’s possible. And it’s not just music or big global superstars that can be a means to changing things for good. There are so many ways in which we can make a difference to others.
To recognise that can be empowering. It’s through the use of our unique skill sets, those personal interests we pursue and above all the time we can give, that the benefits of a life lived for others can be enjoyed.
Lord , we need to see the possibilities in a world where it can be easy to disengage and despair, help us to see that whatever we have, however small and apparently insignificant, can be used to change the way things are. Amen