|John Lennon - working class, simple living hero|
While financially wealthy and able to purchase or do anything, Lennon remained grounded in the things that really matter in life. He stressed the importance not of fame or riches or even his own musical genius, but of more basic things such as love, peace, cooperation, and doing it your own way.
He was a rebel, more than likely from birth. When Lennon was very young he was already experiencing clashes with dominant modes of thinking that did not make sense to him. He said,
“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.”I can relate to his way of thinking. All my life I have felt that the "what do you want to be" line of questioning was lame, limited, and somewhat perplexing. What I really wanted to be when I was young was myself.
And when I grew up? Well, I wanted to be me, but a taller, smarter, more free me. Doesn't everyone want that? Everything else is just the details.
|Super star - stay at home dad|
John was great at his main focus, as well as working out the details. He and Yoko knew the value of a stress-relieving, multi-day lie in - he knew how to go slow. Lennon also learned to enjoy the simple pleasures of baking his own bread. In spite of his massive musical accomplishments, the first loaf made with his own hands he pulled from his oven in amazement.
"I took a Polaroid photo of my first loaf", he said of his baking success. "I was overjoyed, you know. I was that excited by it. I couldn’t believe it, it was like an album coming out of the oven. It looked great, you know, and it tasted good—that was pretty damned good." I was inspired not only by his music and activism, but also by his ability to turn off and tune out.
The song, Watching The Wheels, describes the 5 year period of Lennon's life in which he pulled back from the busyness of work to 'let it go' in favour of a quieter, more simple life that focused on family. And baking bread.
|Music wasn't the only thing Lennon baked up|
Watching The Wheels
John Lennon has influenced which track I chose to follow in my life. There came a time in my own experience that I had to get off the merry-go-round, and indeed, some people looked at me as if I had lost my mind for quitting teaching and adopting a voluntary, low income/low footprint, simple life.
John Lennon and other working class, simple living heroes like him, have given me the strength to do it my own way, to be a rebel, and to let it all go in favour of a life that makes more sense to me.
Thanks, John... and Ringo, George, and Paul. Now, time to bake some bread and be happy that I am no longer playing the game.