What would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday just passed. His was a career most musicians would kill for and he died at 40. One could only imagine what would have come from him had he lived until now. Lennon’s work, and that of the Beatles, is some of the only music I can always come back to and enjoy. And as I age I see new wisdom in the lyrics of songs that, in my youth, just sounded real good. Lennon has helped shape the way I look at music and the world.
So here are some interesting John Lennon quotes on money and life (and my take on them):
When I was about twelve, I used to think I must be a genius, but nobody’s noticed. Either I’m a genius or I’m mad, which is it? “No,” I said, “I can’t be mad because nobody’s put me away; therefore I’m a genius.” Genius is a form of madness and we’re all that way. But I used to be coy about it, like me guitar playing. But if there’s such a thing as genius — I am one. And if there isn’t, I don’t care.
- My take: Believe in yourself and your abilities and you can go far.
If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.
- My take: We put a lot of time and effort into consumerism. What if we could re-direct that energy to bigger issues in the world? What could be accomplished?
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I don’t have any romanticism about any part of my past. I think of it only inasmuch as it gave me pleasure or helped me grow psychologically. That is the only thing that interests me about yesterday. I don’t believe in yesterday, by the way. You know I don’t believe in yesterday. I am only interested in what I am doing now.
- My take: Don’t spend your energy harping on past accomplishments, and mistakes, of yesterday. Make your life now! If you got yourself in debt, do something to get yourself out! Take those steps.
All kids draw and write poetry and everything, and some of us last until we’re about eighteen, but most drop off at about twelve when some guy comes up and says, “You’re no good.” That’s all we get told all our lives. “You haven’t got the ability. You’re a cobbler.” It happened to all of us, but if somebody had told me all my life, “Yeah, you’re a great artist,” I would have been a more secure person.
- My take: What are you doing to foster your child’s imagination? I think we all need to make efforts to see the world through a child’s eye every now and then. Be supportive to your children. They are delicate yet so full of energy and creativity that it’s a shame if that is ever lost or diminished. I think sometimes our schools worry a little too much on test scores and not enough on creating whole people with vivid ideas.
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. – Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
- My Take: I love this lyric! We get caught up in so much that we forget to LIVE. Yes, the bills need to be paid, the lawn needs mowing, you need to work overtime…but we need to find time to lay out on the grass with the kids and imagine what the clouds look like too.
I know you understand the little child inside of your man. – Woman
- My take: Sometimes I’m a fool that needs coddling. Thank goodness I have my wife who understands that.
A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
- My take: Take your passions and share them!
Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
- My take: Do those things you do in your life with purpose.
You make your own dream. That’s the Beatles’ story, isn’t it? That’s Yoko’s story. That’s what I’m saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don’t expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself.
- My take: YOU are the solution! How are you going to go about implementing yourself?
We reckoned we could make it because there were four of us. None at us would’ve made it alone, because Paul wasn’t quite strong enough, I didn’t have enough girl-appeal, George was too quiet, and Ringo was the drummer. But we thought that everyone would be able to dig at least one of us, and that’s how it turned out.
- My take: The Beatles were huge because they were the Beatles – John, Paul, George, and Ringo (and I like to include George Martin as well). They were a team that complemented each other. Who’s part of your team? Who are the people around you pushing you and filling in for your weaknesses?