Saturday, October 9, 2010

Working class hero

Today is John Lennon's 70th birthday. Or it would have been, had he not been killed shortly after his 40th birthday. I am now older than John was when he died, which is an unsettling milestone.

If you know me for more than a little while, then you know I love The Beatles. I have a deep and personal relationship with each of them, just as millions do around the world. They kept me going during some of my darkest times, became a voice of reason when all the other voices I could imagine were urging me towards madness. They were and are among the loves of my life. If this seems silly to you, then I'm both sorry for you and envious; clearly you never loved fiercely what you knew was unattainable, clearly you never needed to.

While each Beatle holds meaning for me, John and George where my favorites. John gave me something to strive for. He helped me understand that it was okay to be smart. He showed me that a passion for social justice was nothing to hide. He helped me understand that speaking out was a worthwhile risk. Lennon certainly was no angel, any biography is full of his flaws, but his public persona was one that urged me to live better. To live larger. To be less afraid of standing up for what I knew was right even if it made me look foolish. He was willing to imagine a better, kinder world and to try to find a way to make it come true.

We need public figures who show this kind of fearlessness and willingness to risk. Lennon was among the first of many teachers in my life who urged me to be a fool for what I believe in. I will always be grateful. I still miss John, but hope that I have learned something from him. I know I'm not the only one.


Imagine there's no Heaven 
It's easy if you try 
No hell below us 
Above us only sky 
Imagine all the people 
Living for today 

Imagine there's no countries 
It isn't hard to do 
Nothing to kill or die for 
And no religion too 
Imagine all the people 
Living life in peace 

You may say that 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 

Imagine no possessions 
I wonder if you can 
No need for greed or hunger 
A brotherhood of man 
Imagine all the people 
Sharing all the world 

You may say that I'm a dreamer 
But I'm not the only one 
I hope someday you'll join us 
And the world will live as one 

(c)2010 Laura S. Packer
storyteller, writer, real-time dreamer Creative Commons License


  1. "Imagine" is one of my all time favorite songs. I remember when my daughter was a teenager and wondering at her choice of music. Waiting for her to find her own taste outside of what her friends liked. The day she discovered, "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles, I smiled. More for her than anything, she had learned to be unique. (Hugs)Indigo

  2. FYI, Thought you might like to know there is another Blog Jog Day scheduled for Nov 21st. If you're interested, go to to learn more.
    Have a great day!!!


True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at
Related Posts with Thumbnails