John Lennon’s “Imagine” has always been one of my favorite songs.
For me, the song represents what I have always hoped for — a world where things that divide people do not exist. Like Lennon expresses in the song, I wish for world peace and harmony.
I find it amazing that a song released more than 45 years ago has as much relevance today – when we are surrounded by cruelty, hate, poverty, racism, and fear. The call for peace is needed as much today as it was in 1971, when the song was released.
I was reminded last week of Imagine’s ability to transcend age, culture, religion, race, and other things that keep people apart when a friend shared with me a video of Pentatonix singing Lennon’s Imagine.
In the moving video, the five-member a cappella group shares a message of inclusivity.
Each member holds up a sign with a word that describes her/him personally and then flips it over to show another word that characterizes him/her generally. The words and phrases include “LGBTQ+,” “Man,” “Jewish,” “American,” “Black,” “Christian,” “Latina” and “Woman.”
At the end of the video, each of the five members takes a board and writes a letter on it. When they flip them over in unison, the letters spell out the word: “H-U-M-A-N.”
The powerful video is a beautiful reminder that we should work to realize unity in diversity because – despite all of the labels that can divide us — we’re all human.
John Lennon (and his co-writer wife, Yoko Ono) asked us to consider what the harmony of one humanity would be like:
“Imagine all the people living for today.”
“Imagine all the people living life in peace.”
“Imagine all the people sharing all the world.”
In 2017, Pentatonix is still asking us to do some intense soul searching to examine the things that divide us. Like Lennon, the group speaks directly to the humanity within each of us with a plea for justice, morality, and unity.
Take a look and listen: