Do you want to know a secret? There are “teaching moments” all around us — here, there, and everywhere — if we pay attention. Even a band as over-examined as The Beatles can still provide inspirational food for thought. So roll up…I’ve got a feeling you’re gonna appreciate this list. Consider it a gift from me to you:
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
Let’s start with the most needed lesson. But dig deeper, beyond the essential chorus, for this timely advice from John: “There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known/Nothing you can see that isn’t shown/There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” As we are bombarded with ever-changing updates and news, The Beatles are exhorting us to put our trust in ourselves because you can learn how to be you in time.
CAN’T BUY ME LOVE
Just because we’re in the midst of an economic crisis doesn’t mean we can’t give and receive some of those “things that money just can’t buy.” It’s time to get back to basics. Even as we pinch pennies, we can re-discover that the best things in life are indeed free.
HERE COMES THE SUN
Here’s a George couplet I’ll bet we’d all love to shout across the universe right now: “Little darling, the smile’s returning to their faces/Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here.” We crave the elusive shooting star but it’s the sun that rises each morning to sustain life on Earth. Do not take consistency for granted.
IN MY LIFE
As you wait for the Sun King to return, don’t forget to keep creating beautiful memories here and now. Consider this verse:
“There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone, and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead, and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all”
Who are the friends and lovers in your current life? Where are the places you will always remember? Cherish them now before they become part of yesterday. Seize the moment and let it be all that matters. Despite the current upheaval, life flows within you, without you. So don’t wish away any more days, for you can never get them back.
Written during the turmoil of 1968, “Blackbird” feels very current. It was Paul’s reaction to the civil rights revolution. While watching TV, he saw images of 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford — one of the Little Rock Nine — attempting to attend classes at the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. An angry mob stalked her, threatening her and spewing verbal abuse. Paul started writing a song on the spot. Decades later, he recalled:
“This whole idea of, ‘You were only waiting for this moment to arise’ was about the black people’s struggle in the Southern states, and I was using the symbolism of a blackbird. It’s not really about a blackbird whose wings are broken. It’s a bit more symbolic.”
Stand beside those with sunken eyes who are learning to see in new ways. Support those with broken wings who are learning to fly.
WE CAN WORK IT OUT
What has this time been but a rude reminder of how fragile and vulnerable we are? With that in mind: “Life is very short and there’s no time/For fussing and fighting, my friend.” Don’t take the path of least resistance, e.g. defaulting to conflict and social media flame wars. Reject the need to “win” and instead, put in the effort to “work it out.”
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
In the age of social distancing, it’s easy to forget that we can get by with the help of our friends. If we come together, we can tap into this power of collective energy. As Ringo sings:
“Are you sad because you’re on your own?
No, I get by with a little help from my friends”
“And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” May this sentiment guide you all for now… and beyond.
P.S. I have a question for you — and please don’t let me down: How many Beatles’ song titles did you notice in this article?!