I am seriously not being flippant with my choice of title for this post. Every year as a child, when I woke up on my birthday, my father would play that song by the Beatles, written for their band-mate. Today would have been his 73rd birthday. It has been 33 years since we lost him to a tortured young man. I know this may fly in the face of my earlier post today, but John Lennon was more than just a celebrity. He was a legitimate inspiration, even if he could not live up to those dreams.
No one is perfect, John had plenty of skeletons in his closet. He experienced one failed marriage, a difficult relationship with his elder son whom he more or less abandoned and even almost let his second marriage fall apart. We all falter and sometimes even manage to make a habit of it. He definitely stumbled in his personal life, but ultimately he stepped up to the plate and tried, in the last years of his life, to make right by the people he loved.
Even if he never did though he still envisioned a better world and, more importantly, encouraged the rest of us to do the same. Decades after his death the words to his song Imagine still inspire people, many who were not even born when he was taken. Listening to any of his songs, whether with the Beatles or with Yoko you believed you could make a better world.
I hold to what I wrote earlier that we should not view celebrities as authority figures. John was definitely no authority. He was, however, an artist in many senses of the word. He opened our minds to new ideas. In song he painted a picture of a universe in which we did not have to give into our greed and fear. To this day if I am down all I need to do is listen to Instant Karma and I can pull myself out of it.
So happy birthday Johnathan, and thank you for making the world a little brighter in your time here. You were a reminder that we do live in a beautiful world, if we choose to make it that way.
- Happy Birthday John! (metaphysicalsciences2012.wordpress.com)
- Beatle news briefs: Lennon birthday celebrated in Iceland, L.A.; tribute lineup (Photos) (examiner.com)
- It’s Johnny’s Birthday: Nine Lennon Tributes (Mixed Media) (popmatters.com)
- Yoko Ono Discusses John Lennon’s Birthday, Art Exhibit In ‘Hip’ Soho (newyork.cbslocal.com)