Man, Legend, Visionary
"I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I've always been a freak. So I've been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I'm one of those people."- John Lennon (1)
John Lennon, lead Beatle, solo artist, social activist, however the world may choose to remember him, he was truly a man of change. John Lennon was a true modern day transcendentalist. Every aspect of his life is a mirror image of what a transcendentalist should be.
Lennon was a pioneer of non-conformity, setting the standards for almost every musical artist of the 20th century (4). The quote above is just another example of his lifelong quest to truly be himself and to live the life he wanted to live. Lennon, throughout his entire life, always refused to do things the ways others wanted. Through The Beatles, John was able to attain super stardom and set the rules for all other musical acts to follow. John Lennon almost single-handedly wrote the book on what a front-man should be He showed that stage presence and public persona is just as important as the music played. John, with the help of Paul McCartney, also made it common practice for a band to write their own material. This was seen as a wild idea at the time as every major artist of the day was primarily playing covers. John Lennon was a true pioneer of the rock star life, the epitome of nonconformity.
Lennon was a fountain of confidence. He was able to change the world by having the confidence to take on the criticism of the world. John's self confidence allowed him to express himself in a way not yet seen by artists of his day. Much of John's solo work is based upon the 5 qualities of transcendentalism. The quote below perfectly describes Lennon's confidence. He was never one to run away from and idea that he knew would bring the world down upon him. Lennon wrote in some of his lost letters that there were many times he was scared to release a song due to the amount of judgment the song might bring upon him, but always overcame this because he knew self-expression was key in songwriting (5).
"Always do what you are afraid to do." -Ralph Waldo Emerson (2)
The importance of nature was an important topic in much of Lennon's work. Songs like "Children of Nature" show John's deep connection with nature and his love of the natural world. "Sunlight shining in your eyes As I face the desert skies And my thoughts return to home Yes, my thoughts return to home." These lyrics from "Children of Nature" show that no matter where he was, his mind always returned to the beauty of nature. Lennon also compared love and happiness to the beauty of blooming flowers or other picturesque imagry.
Non-conformity, confidence and the importance of nature are all important aspects of today's society. Non-conformity is what changes the world as Lennon proved. A small group of people with a drastic idea can change the course of history. Confidence is needed to have the courage to make that change. Imagine if Lennon hadn't released some of his greatest work due to fear of criticism. Finally, no matter what change is made in the world, people need to try to preserve nature. Nature is what makes the world go round. Society would be nowhere without nature and some people seem to forget that.
1. BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012
2. BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012.
3. Cocker, Jarvis. "The John Lennon Letters, Edited by Hunter Davies." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 10 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 Dec. 2012
4. "John Lennon Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012
5. "John Lennon." John Lennon. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012