Below are some of the words of John Lennon, as he spoke to Rolling Stone editor, Jonathan Cott, December 5, 1980, in his apartment on New York’s Upper West Side. Three nights later, Lennon would be murdered.
“Sometimes you wonder, I mean really wonder. I know we make our own reality, and we always have a choice, but how much is preordained? Is there always a fork in the road, and are there two preordained paths that are equally preordained? There could be hundreds of paths where one could go this way or that way – there’s a choice and it’s very strange sometimes.”
If we do make our own realities and, even if that reality is preordained, we want to envision the best world that we can imagine. Our nation is facing a choice between two world views. One will eventually emerge dominant, to guide us through the 21st century. Do we, as a nation, have the grace of spirit to recognize that we are interconnected with every other human being, or do we think that we are totally self-sufficient as individuals?
In today’s political climate, our nation appears to be in danger of breaking apart from the pull of the Right in one direction, and the pull of the Left in another. Psychologically, individuals need to know that they can personally survive and be accountable for themselves, but they, also, need to give of themselves to others, in order to achieve emotional and physical health. It is a matter of balance. Conservatives and Liberals must find a way to work together to achieve equilibrium for our nation. However, even with that essential balance achieved, one perspective will, more than likely, take the lead in determining the overall direction of our common destiny.
It is my point of view that having some social programs, which are administered through our government, helps to make the nation, as a whole, more humane, as well as more secure. Lacking those programs, the nation, as a whole, may slowly emerge as one dominated by inordinate self-interest – even though individuals, within any political party, may be self-giving to others.
I hope that the America which will eventually emerge will be viewed, worldwide, as a nation that promotes human rights for all of her citizens through her government – as a model for other nations to follow. During the Civil Rights Era of America’s history, people throughout the world were stunned that the United States could contain large areas of extreme poverty, such as for African-Americans in the American South. That image of poverty was a moral embarrassment for the United States throughout the world. I am hoping that, through continuing and courteous political dialogue, Americans will began to recognize that what affects one, affects all, and that, spiritually, we are all one.
In John Lennon’s song, “Instant Karma,” sung below by U-2, listen carefully to these words:
“Instant Karma’s gonna get you.
Gonna knock you right on the head.
You better get yourself together;
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead.
What on Earth you trying to do?
It’s up to you. Yeah, you.
Who on Earth do you think you are – A superstar?
Well, right you are. We all shine on – like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.
On, and on, and on – everyone. Come on.
Better recognize your brothers;
Everyone you meet.
Why in the world are we here? Surely not to live in pain and fear.
Well, we all shine on – like the moon, and the stars, and the sun – everyone. Come on.
What on Earth you trying to do? It’s up to you. Yeah, you.”
I recommend, also, listening to the video, “Instant Karma – John Lennon,” with over 3,000,000 hits, on YouTube. That version is worth the trip over to hear Lennon sing his song, himself.