Is Love All I Really Need, John?
Thanks, John Lennon!
One day many years ago, a semi-famous songwriter and musician, John Lennon, one of the ultra-famous Fab Four, The Beatles, from Liverpool, England, opened his mouth and out came these famous song lyrics: All you need is love . . .love. Love is all ya' need. And with that one lyric, the idea that love was all we needed in life took off like an F-16 jet. Wildfire is not a fitting description for how fast Lennon's idea hit the national scene.
And for a short while, even the most dedicated flower children, hippies, and anti-establishment teenagers actually bought into Lennon's rather radical thinking. "Hmmm, yeah, babe. You know. That Lennon, man, is far out, but he's right, babe. All you and I really need is love," one young man from Lennon's early years might have confessed to his "Violent Cranston," his girlfriend flower child from San Diego. After they had agreed on what was just said, they both fell into a deep sleep and slept the sleep of peaceful dreams knowing that they had been given the key to the universe by one of the most-talented men in history, John Lennon.
Of course the next morning, Violent and Moon Jimmy, awoke feeling hungry, but Moon Jimmy had the instant answer when Violent softly asked for a muffin with butter. "Babe, we don't need muffins with butter, or clothes, or water, yeah, like babe, all we need is love," Moon Jimmy replied actually believing what he had just spewed out of his mouth.
After many days of not eating, sleeping, paying bills, or grocery shopping, Violent ran off with the lead guitarist for some unknown rock band one night while Moon Jimmy was fast aleep and these two 'gypsies of love,' Violent' and 'Tree Bark,' were seen at many of that area's fast-food restaurants--enjoying themselves with Big Mac's, Whopper's and a few orders of french fries. You see, Tree Bark, although he wasn't a famous rock guitarist, did have money from his gigs and he had not sunk his beliefs into the "All You Need Is Love" life concept. Lucky Violent. She was much happier and responsive with a full stomach.
Love. Love. Love. Yes, love. It's everwhere. Love is all around, another neat rock song made famous by The Troggs who also scored a billion-seller with a cute little ditty named, "Wild Thing." What about love? Who actually needs love? Do you need love? Really? Let's talk about that one subject that has perplexed noted scholars--Biblical and secular for centuries. Love. Can you explain love? I cannot. I can talk about love, write about love, sing love songs, but I cannot hold the essence and fabric of love in my bare hands. Can you? No. Love is, according to the King James Version of The Bible, what God is...love. I have no concrete proof that God isn't love. And you have no concrete proof that God isn't love either, so we are even.
Don't you just love it? Talking about, thinking about love? I do. I only wish that I had adequate time, space, words and mental power to write my complete thoughts about love and how we as the human race, as well as the animal kingdom, for some reason, actually need love and I shudder to fathom what our world would be like without love. So I won't fathom that. Okay?
Love happens at a tender age. Sometimes as early as our first days of life. This is a blessed time in our life on earth--with people wanting to hold us, cuddle us and make funny faces at us to see us laugh. Then as we grow, we sense, by some unknown power, that we are loved by parents, siblings and even neighbors. Even our pet dog or cat learns to love us even with our slurred speech, clumsy walking and drooling on our chins. Yes, love has definitely touched our lives. But hold on. We are only making those baby steps in a long journey that will take us to various levels and forms of love as time marches with us in our younger years.
Ahhh, the teenage years. Who doesn't love these special years that God gives to all human beings. At this time of life, we are suddenly thrust into the mysterious and illusive arena where we have to not only cope with, but understand the opposite sex. In my case, it was girls. Talk about awkward. I was the awkward one when it came to girls. For some reason, which is even today, a closely-guarded secret of the universe, girls mature faster than boys. And their IQs are more-evolved. I cannot question the Almighty Creator in His limitless wisdom, but I have to give myself to the belief that God, who can see the future, already knows how lost us males can and will be if left to our own thinking, so he created those lovely creatures called females with such keen minds and senses, that most of the time, it is the female who saves the male's behind. Right, girls?
Then it happens. Almost overnight. The silent-but-formidable spirit of love creeps into our bedrooms as we sleep and before we can dress for school the next morning, wham! Something is just not right with our minds and bodies. Hello, hormones. Hello, puberty. Two fun creations that can make our teen lives one more circus with us being the clowns. As we grow older and hopefully wiser, it occurs to us that girls are not just here for us males to harass or throw rocks at, but a deep-seated need is opened in our heart of hearts: the need to be loved and to give love. I cannot explain this intelligently due to the fact that I do not hold a PhD or Master's Degree in Sociology. Sorry. All I do know that love is not just a chemical reaction in our brains, but also in our hearts and spirits. Yes, Virginia. There is a heart and soul in all of us.
And just as we graduate high school and then spend four great years in college, it's fair to say that we are destined to either be single or married to someone of our dreams. For some, marriage is a dream realized daily while others find that marriage, even though love exists for the male and female parties, is not what they bargained for. Hello, divorce. Yes, you said it. Divorce, (song made famous by Tammy Wynette, also a divorcee), and the complicated maze of lawyers, arbitrators, judges, baliff's and who actually wins in a divorce trial? No one. Just the one who gets the most property. And the losing party is left to rebuild his or her life with someone new or no one at all.
Now I saved this for last. Love isn't always a bowl of Sugar Pops (by Kellogg's) and some low-fat milk. Love has a tough side. Tough love, you've heard of it. Tough love is having the courage and nerve to actually say 'no' to that spouse who insists on spending every dime in the household on frivilous items such as evergreen air fresheners for the car and mink coats for the twin Siamese cats that came along in the marriage. Tough love is having the brass to say to the substance-abusing spouse, 'stop, or I am gone,' and actually leaving the spouse to his or her chemicals and alcohol. I never claimed that this story about love was full of pretty American Beauty roses, did I?
Love is what we make it. Tough, easy, soft, giving, and not much taking. I prefer the concept and definition of what love is, written by the Apostle Paul as seen in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13. To me, and this is my personal view, this segment of the scriptures, whether you are aligned with the Catholic Church, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal or other faith-based beliefs, says it all about love. It's not as much what Paul says that love is, but is not. Love isn't petty, but understanding. Love is not a taker, but a giver. Love is not a judgemental force, but one of quiet patience and endurance. I choose to let my story end here with Paul's description of love.
And to the late and talented, John Lennon, thank you for such an insightful song as "All You Need Is Love," and the philosophical and sociological effects your song produced.
Is love all I really need in life? No, I do have to have food, water, and air to survive. Could I survive without love? Probably. But talk about a hard road to walk.