Friday, August 31, 2007

John Lennon

Last night I watched a DVD entitled "The United States versus John Lennon". It was a documentary on the efforts of the United States and the Nixon Administration to deport John Lennon for his activities in the peace movement of the late 60's and early 70's. Watching the movie brought back many memories and a few tears. Those were heady times in which to grow up. There was much upheaval in our society and passions were deeply felt. I felt the passion of my generation when I was young. John Lennon was as much a hero to me as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. I, too, believed in his message of peace. I cried a few years later when he was murdered in New York City by a deranged fan. His music is part of the soundtrack of my life. Watching the movie and reliving those times I found myself wondering where the passion of my youth and generation has gone. Is it really gone or has it been transformed into something deeper and more spiritual? The truth is that I still get upset by things and sometimes I still feel the fires of passion within me. I still feel rebellious although I may express my rebellion in smaller ways. I think what's happened with me and many of my generation is that we aren't so much trying to change the world now as we are trying to change ourselves. For there to be peace in the world, there must be peace in our own hearts. Instead of trying to transform the world, we seek to transform ourselves. This is not a narcissistic activity. It is not self absorption at the highest level. All societal and global change begins with change within individuals. Buddha said something to the effect that it is greater to conquer oneself than to conquer a thousand armies. John Lennon was faithful to his heart and he put his money where his mouth was. I have little money but I do have big values and I strive to be faithful to them in the way I live my life. John Lennon may have started out as a rock and roll pop star but he transformed into a humanitarian and a lover of peace. All he was saying was give peace a change. Today Vietnam is a memory for most but new wars have taken it's place. Peace is still the goal of our life time. Let it begin with you.

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