Sir Elton at Davos
Posted by Simon Parke, 25 January 2018, 5.35pm
The ‘Elton John’ album – no name on the cover – was the first album I brought, early 1970’s.
And I’ve followed his music ever since – one of those rare souls who has found greatest pleasure in some of his later and more hidden work.
But this week, Elton wasn’t at the piano. He was at the gathering of the rich that is Davos, where he provided his own lyrics for once, attacking the ‘disgraceful’ inequality in the world.
Addressing the delegates in Davos, he said: ‘The world needs to be changed – the inequality in the world is, to be honest, disgraceful.’
He also admitted that his philanthropic work has actually given him more joy than his career achievements; and told the conference that they should ‘never turn a blind eye to suffering’.
He continued: ‘You’ve all made it, baby. But what are you making? What worth does it have if it does not strengthen the bonds of humanity? If we are not seeking to change the world for the better through our work, what is the point of coming here?
Yes, there is glory perhaps, fame and prestige. There is wealth, too. But for what?
Good work gives you something bigger than fame, richer than wealth, finer even than prizes.’
Sir Elton said that his fame ultimately led him to develop an interest in philanthropy, when a particularly tragic story was put before him, with the question ‘Can you help?’
He shared: “Passion led me into some very dark places. I wasn’t a great person for a long time. I lost my humanity, my connection and my respect for myself.”
But, Sir Elton – who stages an annual fundraiser at his home in Windsor in England and has raised many millions for charity – added: ‘I wanted to re-connect, I wanted to be a decent person.’
I enjoy the honesty and hope in these words.
There will be few of us reading them who have not lost connection with ourselves at various points in our lives, and stumbled terribly in the dark.
Sir Elton kindly reminds me there’s always a way back…and always a way forward.
The circle of life, eh?