The Beatles sang and I laughed at All You Need Is Love. I remember ridiculing the four rich boys who had risen out of the struggle for money and could pontificate about ‘if only we learned to love each other then all would be fine’.
“Love, Love, Love” was an insult to me and I took it personally. I could never imagine loving the occupants of the local police station, or my landlord. This was the reason why I thought we should never allow ourselves to be swept along by the thinking of performers. They were not reformers.
Come forward 55 years and I am asked what am I trying to show the world by my work. And I find myself saying “to think lovingly”. Wow! It just crept out of my mouth and there it was, seemingly a reliving of the utterances of John, Paul, George and Ringo many decades later.
So The Beatles were right and I was wrong, back when I was a class warrior trying to show the hypocrisy of wealth? Alright, the four lads didn’t start with silver spoons in their mouths, but they soon, by becoming cash cows, slipped easily from need to over-plenty. So what’s so different now, with my recalibration of their 1960s dirge-like plea for kindness?
‘Lovingly’ is not simply for me a hollow word that I took The Beatles to be uttering. Rather it is a whole new realignment of thinking (I would say that, wouldn’t I?); a whole new way of relating to the world around us. Seeing the value in everyone and not simply our own tribe, or profession, or country. If you saw the humanity in a person who was unlike yourself it would be increasingly difficult to exploit them, or fight with them.
Take prosperity: prosperity is largely based on being able to relieve yourself of burdens. On getting others to do things that formerly – in your unprosperous times – you may have had to do yourself. It is passing the burden on to others. The accumulation of a fridge – yes I remember my first one – was a wonderful feeling. Fresh milk forever. Fresh fish and meat, not dried out and smelling.