Released in 1971 by John Lennon, the song Imagine was the former Beatle’s way of asking us all to imagine a place where the things that divide us did not exist. Fifty years later, his message, including the physical single, downloads, ringtones, streaming, and albums on which it was featured, has sold 21 million copies, according to ChartMasters.
But here’s a what-if…
What if Lennon’s chart-topping signature song had been called Reimagine? What if he had asked us to act? To not just think about what life without the things that divide us would be like, but to rethink what existed and make it into something better. Instead of asking all the people to imagine living life in peace, imagine (pun intended) if he had written, “reimagine all the people living life in peace.” Sending out a call to action to an entire generation and the generations that followed to take steps to remake something broken into something better.
Would the 21 million people so profoundly touched by his message that they added it to their music collection be enough to make a difference if they had been asked to do more than imagine? Would reimaging have created a powerful movement that, when compounded by 50 years, would have moved us closer to a world with no countries and nothing to kill or die for? If John Lennon had asked us to do something, instead of just thinking about how nice it would be, could we literally be “living life in peace” right now?
Were we just two measly letters away from a better world? A stinking R and a crummy E?
Can someone get in a time machine, go back fifty years, and buy a vowel?
Okay. To be fair, you do have to imagine something happening to take appropriate steps towards reimagining it, I’m telling myself. My own business was built by first having a good idea and then creating a feasible plan to execute it. That said, couldn’t Lennon have put out a follow-up single asking us to expound on what we’ve imagined? Was he so naïve to believe that we would just create such a movement and take the next step all by ourselves? Ice cream moguls Ben and Jerry kinda got the message. I guess. In 2008 they reimagined the concept by creating a new ice cream flavor called “Imagine Whirled Peace.” Their attempt at changing the world with caramel, toffee cookie pieces, and chocolate peace signs was retired in 2013.
But here’s (another) what if…
What if John, a.k.a. the Clever One, had not reached so far with his ask of the world peace? Maybe that was too grand of a concept. What if he had just asked us all to imagine or reimagine considering the feelings of all people on earth? What if we had spent the last fifty years reimagining how to treat all people equally regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, ability, disability, gender, religion, culture, or sexual orientation? Wouldn’t focusing on diversity, equality, and inclusion ultimately have led us down the same path to world peace? Possibly with better efficiency?
Here’s a thought…
What if we called in a favor to Yoko Ono? After all, the Imagine concept came from Ono’s book Grapefruit, according to facts.com. In fact (pun intended), Yoko was credited as co-writer on the song on June 17th, 2017. Due in part to Lennon himself, reimagining how the song came to be. So, let’s not go toe in with this thing. Let’s all jump in with two feet by calling on Yoko Ono to help write the follow-up to Imagine and set things straight once and for all. And let’s pivot away from world peace. Are we still using the word pivot? Anyway, I think the pageant people have a trademark on the big WP deal. Those pageant people are crafty (pun intended). And are we likely subjecting ourselves to legal issues if we jump on their bandwagon? I suggest we start with other reimagining’s of DEI. Wouldn’t that be terrific?
Should we get greedy and throw in Sustainability, too?
I’ll reach out to Yoko. Rest assured; I’ll get it done! I’m persuasive. And if Yoko won’t do it, I’ll call Julian Lennon!
By Eric Pairitz, smartdept. Principal