October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980
My mother cried the day John Lennon died.
When I asked her why she was crying – after all, this wasn’t a relative, a friend, a coworker – she repeated the lyrics of “Imagine” from memory. The idea that this beautiful, gifted, gentle, poetic soul — who protested against a war and spoke up for harmony and peace and love for all people, no matter who they are, or where they were, or what their political beliefs — should die in a sudden act of violence was stunning. And heartbreaking.
When I speak out against the war and against the abuses of government, when I speak out to raise awareness of the suffering of the Iraqi people or to rage at those who have failed – over and over again – to provide our military with the proper training and equipment, and then fail them and their families again by failing to ensure they have proper medical care if they’re wounded, who leave the poor even poorer and the rich even richer, I do so because I believe. I dream.
When I do any or all of those things, it is because I imagine a far better world, and I believe we can attain a world without violence, without hatred of those who are different, without poverty.
And I have my mother to thank for teaching me to believe in that dream.
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one