John Lennon Almost Got it Right

“All you need is love,” right? Well, no. Almost.

What if you felt love, but couldn’t convey it? What if you were truly loved, but never knew?

Lennon should have sang, “all we need is love, and honest communication.” That’s not going to sell half as many records or fill arenas with squealing teenagers. Still, it is a truism of equal merit, for very few great ideas serve the world best by never being shared. Just the same, it’s a rare human being that can rally a community – towards war or peace, prosperity or ruin – without uttering a word. And though Lennon may be right, that love is the greatest of all conditions, I can think of no worse fate than knowing love and never being able to express it, or to never have it honestly expressed to me.

When you feel love, you have to say it. Really, it’s that simple — you must. Forget about timing or shyness. You have to say it when you feel like it, and when you don’t. You have to say it when life feels perfect and you couldn’t be happier. You have to say it when your world has been reduced to chaos and you’re lost and despondent. You have to say it when love becomes so routine that it goes without saying, and when it has become so one-sided and damaged that you know it won’t be reciprocated.

Because honestly, what else is there? Power, jobs, possessions, legacy… you can’t take ‘em with you. It’s not a matter of if you will be forgotten, but how long it takes to happen. What matters is the life you get to have right now, and love is the one thing — the one thing — that’s worth all the trouble. It is life’s true reward.

So have the courage to express it. Because love really doesn’t mean fucking anything when you keep it to yourself. Get out there and make it happen. I promise, the world will be better off.

Good luck.


© 2012, Ian Mathias