I remember exactly where I was when John Lennon was shot. I was eight years old and sitting on the living room floor, watching TV with my parents and my sister. I do not recall what we were watching, however I do recall whatever it was was interrupted by a news man announcing that Beatle John Lennon had been shot an killed.
My recounting of this story has changed over the years to make myself sound like a much cooler kid than I was. The truth? I had very little in the way of an emotional response. I had no idea that the man who had just died would go on to become one of the most profound influences on me, my art, my philosophy, my spirituality and my life.
John Lennon was a human being. Full of faults and failures. He made mistakes that isolated him and villainized him in the eyes of many people. However, he is also proof that kindness and the wish to help people and make the world a better place is more powerful than anyone had ever realized.
It has only been recently that I have come to accept just how much I hold true and agree with many of John’s philosophies. He was never afraid to admit he was human. Never afraid to admit that he might not be doing things the way everyone else would, but he was doing them as himself. Always, himself.
I could never compare to Mr. Lennon and his overall effect on the world at large. Even now, thirty years later, he is still affecting the world. However, I can make the choice to live my life the same way he did. The same way Gandhi did. By being the change I want to see happen in the world around me. To be good, and decent, and honest. To admit my faults and find strength in them. To encourage people to be who they are and truly believe that that is enough.
On this thirtieth anniversary of his tragic passing, I urge you to be kind. To yourself and to others. As John said, “Love is real.”
Goo Goo G’joob