“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”–John Lennon
WWJLS? equals What Would John Lennon Say?
The Beatles invaded America and captured millions of fans. I became one of their adoring fans during the Ed Sullivan Show broadcast of The Beatles one Sunday evening when I was just a sixth grade pupil at Merle Beatty Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was the beginning of a momentous decade for the world, the USA and for me. The Beatles provided the lion’s share of the musical soundtrack in that chapter of my life.
My peers had different members of the band as their favorite Beatle. You could guage a kid’s personality and even their character by which Beatle they liked best. My shy pal Bruce really liked Paul McCartney’s style and writing best. My musician friend, Greg was all about George Harrison. My rough and tumble neighbor pal couldn’t get enough of Ringo Starr. My favorite Beatle was either George Harrison or John Lennon depending on which Beatle’s song was topping the radio airplay charts. Overall, I think John Lennon was my favorite Beatle because he spoke his mind and he was saying things I related to, strongly.
“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”–John Lennon
There’s no doubt that the times were tumultous and sometimes violent. The President had been assassinated, war was festering in Southeast Asia and there were racial uprisings. It was hard to make any sense out of what was going on. John Lennon could come up with a pithy song lyric or say something to the press, and logical explanations came forth. The above quote doesn’t only explain the 1960s, it focuses like a laser beam on all of the wacky events in today’s headlines.
The psychedelic era had dawned, people were turning on and tuning out. That was one way many of the youth leaders of the day recommended coping with the insanity of living in the ’60s. Lennon didn’t agree with that approach at all. In fact he very gently lampooned that notion with this phrase from “Strawberry Fields”:
“Living is easy with eyes closed Misunderstanding all you see It’s getting hard to be someone But it all works out” –John Lennon
Wearing rose colored glasses or walking around with your eyes closed to reality might seem to be the way to get along, but wrong-headed thinking will be the result. You can see the truth in this by monitoring what is going on in today’s world. So many folks see the world through their own eyes only. There’s no other perspective but the first person singular viewpoint…the mental equivalent of living with eyes closed to the world. That viewpoint makes our fellow humans out to be “the other” in society.
Growing up in any time period is a tough job. You feel pulled apart from many directions all at once. Your parents expect certain behaviors and performance from you. Religion wants you to conform in other ways. You have your school mates and other peers not so gently pressuring you in other ways. Frequently, the teen years are filled with some personal angst and an existential crisis of one sort or another. What’s a person to think and do? Again, Lennon to the rescue. To be true to yourself, this pithy quote covers it all:
“You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”–John Lennon
I think that’s one of the best sayings he ever spoke. One of John Lennon’s most famous song lyrics is astounding in that he expressed what has been in millions of hearts for eons. It was not written in the 1960s, but the idea was planted then, it came full circle much later in the song “Imagine”.
“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”–John Lennon
A timeless wish of all well-balanced, sane, loving people is what is expressed in that song. I joined up long ago. How about you?
The Blue Jay of Happiness has Lennon/McCartney’s “Blue Jay Way” going through his little head right now.