Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Dearest Readers,

Yesterday, December the 8th, is a day I always remember for two reasons: It is both the day my father was born and the day that John Lennon was shot and killed.

It's been 29 years since Mark Chapman put four bullets in Lennon's back. Almost three decades. My father, incidentally, just turned 67.

Like those in the generation before me who remember where they were when JFK was assassinated I remember where I was when John Lennon died. I was only nine years old but I knew who he was and I knew who the Beatles were. My parents had Beatles' records and I liked their songs, particularly Penny Lane and When I'm Sixty-Four.

It was a school day and the story was spreading around the schoolyard. I'm sure none of us really knew or understood the implications of what had just happened but we knew it was big. It was only later, as a young adult, that I was able to feel the real sadness of it and grieve the loss of such a great artist and activist.

John Lennon was not a perfect man. His defects of character and his shortcomings as a father, his drug use, his egotism have all been well-documented. But he was a man who spoke for Peace and Love. In my mind, this makes him a kind of saint.

His message is still being sounded nearly thirty years on. His song Imagine, ranked "the third greatest song of all time" by Rolling Stone Magazine, is a most inspiring call to action.

Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

John Lennon was a dreamer. The world living "as one" is still a dream. It's not the reality we live in. But could it be? Is it possible? If not, why not? What stops us from letting go of our differences, from accepting each other exactly as we are?

Fear. Plain and simple. It's fear.

I can't make World Peace happen by myself but I can practice peace in my own life. I can let go of judgmental thinking, I can accept other people's beliefs that aren't the same as mine, I can be compassionate and kind, understanding and generous.

This call to action is a high one. We are caught up in our own lives. Change is difficult. But imagine every single one of us making peace a priority in our own lives. Wouldn't that change the world?

Inspiring Message of the Day: You can kill the messenger but the message doesn't die. I will work for peace in my own life knowing that it will transform me and could so transform the world.

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