John Lennon’s compassion, talent, and dedication knew no bounds. Yet what sets him apart as one of history’s truly great thinkers is his drive to push humanity forward to a brighter future and his complete lack of fear in leading the way. Lennon was able to present a vision of beauty and a world united from one of the most chaotic periods in recent memory, marred by governmental corruption and the Vietnam war. Songs like “Give Peace a Chance” served as a rallying cry to the anti-war movement, while songs like “Imagine” made a world at peace seem more attainable than it had ever been before. In addition to the songs he wrote, Lennon used his incredible fame as a vehicle through which to voice his opinions on both the political and basic human issues he believed in. The infamous “Bed-in For Peace” was more than a publicity stunt – behind the outlandish media spectacle was a rationality and optimism that filled the void of war and intolerance with a universal love and hope.
Although his creative genius was lost tragically short of its time, John Lennon attained more in his forty years than most could accomplish in a hundred full lifetimes. His music will live on for the ages and his example as a leader in social activism paved the way for the prominent activists of today. While the music and issues may have changed since Lennon’s time, the basic problems facing humanity remain. Even so, John Lennon’s legacy is one of hope. It can be found within the leaders willing to go to any length to make a positive change, and the belief in even the most grassroots of songwriters that music can make the world a better place.