It is this time of the year more than any other that I contemplate John Lennon’s vision of how we could make the world a more humane and loving place to live in. “Imagine there’s no countries … nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too … imagine all the people living life in peace … imagine no possessions ….no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man …imagine all the people sharing all the world … imagine the world living as one.”
Lennon recognized that it is our innate predispositions towards tribalism, distinction and separation that are the roots of most of the problems that we have created for ourselves, and that we could only begin to transcend our deep-seated inclination to define and distinguish ourselves from each other through our racial, ethnic, nationalistic, religious, political, ideological, class, and sociological differences when we become enlightened enough to recognize that in the end we are all part of one culture, the same tribe, the same species that shares the same challenge of preserving life on this speck of dust floating through an unfathomably immense universe.
Yes, some may call Lennon a dreamer, but it seems to me that it is far better to have such a dream than to passively keep accepting the kinds of social, political, religious, and environmental nightmares that confront us every day.
“And the world (could) live as one.” If only we really could, John, if only we could.