I grew up Southern Baptist which, considering the rhelm of possible childhoods, is far from the worst a person could have. Although many things have changed in the SBC since I was a Wee Lad, among those which haven't are the Baptist's constant search for Boogiemen to battle.
I remember discovering the Beatles when I was in grade school. My best pal, David Eaton, had gotten a little cassette player for his birthday and had a few Beatles tapes which we listened to endlessly. Around the same time, my Uncle Grant got a copy of Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band which I listened to with great intensity through his Koss headphones.
In 1975, John Lennon released his masterwork "Imagine."It deeply disturbed my already confused 12 year old mind. The only way I could understand the song at the time was that John was advocating and promoting atheism. I may have come up with this idea on my own, but it's likely I was at the least influenced by well meaning, but not particularly deep thinking, sunday school teachers.
Recently, however, I actually listened to it again. While I had long ago ceased being threatened by the idea of atheism,I had a major revelation upon actually listening to the words. John wasn't saying "we would be better off as atheists." What he was saying was "we would all be better off if we lived without the things that seperate us from each other." Religion (not God), national identity, and economic disparity prevent us from living our lives to the fullest, seeing each other as Brothers and Sisters instead of rivals, and, ultimatly, living life in peace.
We have so many things which demonstrate how silly the idea of peace is. There are so many horrible things that surround us which make it really hard to imagine that the world could be any different. But what's the harm in trying?
This year, I'm going to try and be a dreamer. I'm going try to live in peace. I'm going to try and join those who can also imagine such a place. It may be foolish to beleave such things possible and I'm not suggesting I'll forgo reasonable caution. However, I am going to strive to change my way of thinking and give myself a different set of rules. Rule number one will be to meet the world with an open mind and an open heart and make everything I can as peaceful as possible.
It can't hurt.
Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No Hell below us Above us only sky
Imagine all the people Living life for today
Image there's no country It isn't hard to do Nothing to greive or die for And no religion too
Imagine all the people Living life in peace
You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope some day you'll join us And the world will live as one
Imagine no possesions I wonder if I can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man