Though it is difficult to say anything about the death of John Lennon that hasn't already been said, I'd like to talk a little bit about the impact he and his music had on me and my family in honour of the 30th anniversary of his untimely death.
My mother has had an enormous effect on my life in both positive and negative ways. She's an old-fashioned Christian woman in some senses and a very contemporary, even ground breaking feminist in others. She and my father raised my sister and I in an environment where the only religion we knew was rock and roll, and the gods were the ones behind the music. My mom had a collection of old newspaper clippings and magazines that she kept in a folder among the photo albums in her room when I was growing up. The clippings and articles she kept were all original from the weeks following December 8, 1980 - the day John Lennon was assassinated. I'd read every little scrap and she would talk about the time when she acquired these bits of memorabilia from a dark time in the history of music.
I've always felt like the Beatles were the most comforting and the most powerfully positive music available. I've always listened to them when times were at their worst and they've made me feel better. I never knew a time when all of the Beatles were alive, but I can understand the phenomenon and allow myself to become engulfed in it. My mother felt the same way. She always said that the day Lennon died, the world began to cry. And every year for thirty years people across the globe continue to cry for this man.
So as we enter a new decade under the shadow of war and possible mass destruction, think about the message that people like Lennon lived for. Be kind to others, help those in need and live in peace and harmony with all people.
I sound like a Dickens novel.