“Lennon’s Message Resurrected”

“Lennon’s Message Resurrected” is a column I wrote for The Arizona Daily Wildcat on October 12, 2010. Can be found here.

Imagine waking up to a world filled with acceptance, kindness and tolerance. Imagine creating a world where there was no fear of persecution, hate or violence. Imagine, if John Lennon were alive, what sort of world we would be living in with 30 more years of the pop icon to campaign for peace, love and unity.

Saturday marked what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. This former Beatle who led a revolution and a campaign for peace might be somewhat shocked to see that we, as a society, have not come as far as he would have hoped. In honor of Coming Out Week, I feel it necessary to take a moment and remember the message of an amazing individual whose life was cut short: love.

This sort of love is not what one might immediately equate to amorous affection, but rather genuine caring for your neighbor regardless of color, creed, orientation, height, weight, hair color, eye color, backpack, shoes, purse, culture, hairstyle and the list goes on. “All You Need Is Love” is one of the most iconic songs and sayings of all time. Its simplicity and profundity rest in its truth. I implore you to understand the implications of making even the slightest effort to positively improve someone’s day. Hold a door open. Smile at someone. It all starts there and only leads to positive progress as a society.

However, at present, it seems we have lost sight of Lennon’s message. In the past few weeks, there have been numerous horrific incidents involving suicides of gay teens and hate crimes toward homosexuals in the Bronx. These travesties are perpetrated by individuals who hurt others because they see them as “different.” We are all “different” and are so in a multitude of ways unique to each and every one of us. However, we are also all equal. No one person is better than another. This is a concept that seems to elude our current society as we still have these crimes occurring. We still hear racist, ethnocentric and many other pejorative slurs used on our streets, in our schools and, ultimately, that means they are in our homes as well.

Some of you reading this may think that I am some bleeding heart crying for everyone to love one another – and I am. However, that neither discounts the validity of Lennon’s message, nor helps us as a society push forward and embrace our differences.

I implore you to look at the message of John Lennon that has fallen by the wayside. Nothing but good and positive things can come from adopting this lifestyle of love. We mustn’t accept the happenings of the present as we see our neighbors, our family members, our friends hurt by those who fail to feel, who fail to see the power of love. We have this opportunity that is presented to us at the beginning of each day. Choose to make the best of every day. Show others the power of acceptance.

 

– Tyler Quillin is a senior majoring in philosophy and English. He is also the academic affairs executive director for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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