This I Believe

Jolie - Golden Beach, Florida
Entered on October 10, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

“Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too.”-John Lennon

Last week I heard these lyrics and they got me to think. These lines came from the song Imagine, by John Lennon. The renowned musician was never alive during my lifetime, yet people still find inspiration in him today. I’ve seen footage of the distraught public mourning John Lennon the day of his murder, but never grasped why a musician touched so many lives.

I am a teenager on the verge of turning sixteen; I’m encouraged by my parents to have political opinions and to question my religion. Because of my age, I don’t have the voice to reach the masses the way that John Lennon did.

Last week I saw him in a clip from an old 70’s TV show. It featured a bearded John Lennon with his wife, singing his new and highly controversial song Imagine. The song suggested a stop to all things political, an end to religion, and demanded unity of mankind. All these ideas were tied together by one word – Imagine.

I decided that envisioning the world being different isn’t really too much to ask. It seemed that John Lennon spent his whole life preaching for people to visualize the world being different. The least I could do was take a second out of my day and picture all the ideas he was promoting. So I saw “the brotherhood of man” and I pondered a world with no countries or religion. Truth be told, Lennon was right. With all of these things gone, the world would be a better place.

One man’s controversial ideas made me believe in the power of imagination, because after imagination there can be change. And I can see that the world needs change.

We are far from the dream that John Lennon had for the planet and its denizens. At this moment innocent people are being bombed, held hostage, and tortured. Religion and nationalism cause people to die for their country and even kill for their faith. Religion, borders, politics, and economics separate people into groups which always have enemies. The song made me think of what the world would be like if these divisions were eliminated.

Not much had changed since the filming of that old 70’s TV show. People are still fighting, and division still exists. Lives are being sacrificed for the benefit of religion and political domination, causes that I believe are not worth such a heavy price. The world is still heading down the path Lennon cautiously warned about.

I guess Lennon was a dreamer and he was also an innovator. I stand beside John Lennon’s cause since I’m sure the world needs change. I believe that the first step in achieving change is imagination.