20 Powerfully Inspiring Quotes on Love, Life, and Peace by John Lennon

20 Powerfully Inspiring Quotes on Love, Life, and Peace by John Lennon

John Lennon (1940–1980) was one of the most influential pioneers of the global music industry. [1] He was the founder of The Beatles, the British rock band that impacted music almost like no other. Lennon’s fellow Beatles and best friends were George Harrison (1943–2001), Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney. They had a stellar 8-year career together after Starr joined in 1962, dishing out some of the best songs the RnR genre had ever seen until their separation in 1970. Despite his painful and untimely exit from the world in 1980, following an assassination, Lennon left a remarkable legacy and a footprint that would forever remain in the sands of time.

Early Life

Born to Julia and Alfred Lennon in Liverpool, United Kingdom, on October 9, 1940, Lennon didn’t exactly have a smooth childhood. [2] His father was mostly absent from his life and at the age of 4, his parents separated and he was sent to live with his Aunt Mimi. Lennon grew up to be a rebellious child who was always getting into trouble (evident in his expulsion from the Liverpool college of arts for improper dressing), but he had a flair for the arts in its entirety. His mother visited him at his Aunt Mimi’s regularly and taught him how to play the banjo and the piano. When he was 16, in 1956, she got him his first guitar. She taught his friends how to tune their guitars properly and also walked them through the world of chords and notes.

When Lennon was 18, his mother was killed in a road accident by an off-duty cop. The young Lennon was devastated and over the decades, he often described her death as one of the most traumatic events of his life.

Career and recognitions

At the age of 17, with his friends, Rod Davis, Len Garry, Colin Hanton, John Duff Lowe, and Chas Newby, Lennon formed his first band titled The Quarrymen. They were a skiffle group that played at parties, local events, bars, and clubs. The following year, in 1957, Lennon brought his friend Palu McCartney on board, and the two later went on to form The Beatles. McCartney brought in George Harrison in 1958, much to Lennon’s initial dislike because the latter was only 14. However, he proved himself and remained in the group.

When the group moved to Rock-n-Roll later that year, a lot of the earliest guys didn’t align with the changes and exited the band, leaving just Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison, who were constantly in need of a drummer. As more local clubs and bars booked them, the band changed their name to The Beatles in 1960. They were discovered by Brian Epstein the next year at Liverpool’s Cavern Club. Epstein became their manager and got them an EMI record contract. In 1962, Ringo Starr joined the group as the drummer and they started a career as the eclectic Beatles of the ‘60s together.

Despite having disbanded many decades ago, The Beatles have remained the best-selling music acts of all time, with approximately 600 million units sold worldwide. [3] They are a British band topping the American charts with over 183 million units sold across the nation. No other musician or band has managed to beat the record ever since. With seven Grammy Awards, one Academy Award, four Brit Awards, 15 Ivor Novello awards, an induction into the 1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, The Beatles regularly topped the number-one albums on the UK albums charts,  most sold singles in the UK, and Billboard Hot 100s. They were also featured in several movies, magazines, and appeared on some of the most prestigious shows in the world before disbandment.

Personal life 

Outside the music scene, Lennon personally admitted to not having a great personality. He occasionally confessed to having a chauvinistic attitude toward women.

He married Cynthia Lennon (nee Powell) (1939-2015) in 1962. She bore their first son, Julian Lennon in 1963. Before they got married, Cynthia would often travel the world with Lennon, whom she said was a very jealous and physically violent lover.

Lennon himself said in the Beatles song, Getting Better, which he confirmed was his true story: “I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically – any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn’t express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace.”

After a turbulent marriage, he divorced Cynthia in 1968 after she walked in on him with the woman that later became his second wife, Japanese avant-garde artist, Yoko Ono. He married Ono in 1969 and shortly after his divorce from Cynthia was finalized, Ono miscarried her first child. She suffered two more miscarriages before she had Sean Lennon in 1975. Ono and Lennon remained together until Lennon’s death in 1980. 

Later life and Death

1966 was The Beatles’ year of downfall.

That year, Lennon and his friends almost lost their lives during a visit to The Philippines. [4] The band had ignorantly shunned a breakfast invitation from the First Lady, Imelda Marcos at the Presidential Palace. The band’s manager, Epstein turned down the invitation as the band was busy, not knowing the powerful Marcos family never took no for an answer. They were lucky to escape the country with their lives.

Earlier in the same year, Lennon had made a statement that eventually resulted in an uncontrollable backlash for the band. Speaking to British reporter Maureen Cleave, Lennon said:

Christianity will go,” Lennon had said. “It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I will be proved right … Jesus was alright but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

All over the world, in the US, the Vatican, and in many other places of religious and social conservation, Lennon and his band were criticized and denounced by millions of people. While this was not the sole reason for their disbandment, it was the major ignition point.

From an accidental overdose of sleeping pills, the band’s manager, Epstein died in 1967 and the group slowly began the retrenchment process. The guys began to create solo songs and everything went haywire until they finally disbanded in 1970.

In 1980, Lennon was assassinated by an angry fan on the evening of December 8, 1980, at the Dakota, his New York residence. Mark David Chapman had traveled from Hawaii to perpetrate the crime he’d been planning for months. He claimed he was angry at Lennon for his lifestyle and several controversial statements, especially his comment about being “more popular than Jesus”. As Lennon and Ono walked toward the entrance of the building that day, Chapman, who’d been lying in wait for hours, fired five shots from a .38 revolver, fatally hitting Lennon with four bullets and instantly killing the man. Chapman did not flee the scene and was eventually arrested and sentenced to 20-years-to-life in prison.

Lennon was mourned remarkably all over the world and for many years, tributes were persistently made in his honor. He was not a perfect man, but he’d led an astounding career that would remain timeless in world history.  His music touched millions of souls, and he communicated on a deeply emotional level with everyone who connected with his lyrics. Lennon changed lives by making music and preaching peace, using his personally flawed life as a reference point.

Quotes from Lennon

 Lennon was always full of wisdom and left the world with countless golden words about life, love, and peace. Below are some of his most popular quotes. 

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.”

“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

“When you do something beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun, every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”

“We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

“Declare it. Just the same way we declare war. That is how we will have peace… we just need to declare it.”

“If everyone could just be happy with themselves and the choices people around them make, the world would instantly be a better place!”

“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.”

“Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.”

“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.”

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”

“A mistake is only an error, it becomes a mistake when you fail to correct it.”

“Trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You’ve just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.”

“Everybody loves you when you’re six foot in the ground.”

“You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”

“It’s better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out.”

“What we’ve got to do is keep hope alive. Because without it we’ll sink.”

References

  1. John Lennon.” Britannica. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  2. John Lennon.” Britannica. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  3. The Beatles, by the numbers.” CBS News. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  4. In 1966, The Beatles were banned from the Philippines and nearly attacked by angry fans, because they declined a breakfast invitation from the first lady.The Vintage News. Brad Smithfield. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  5. Artist Biography by Bruce Eder.” All Music. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
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