Youthink! The World Bank's blog for youth
Syndicate content

Imagining Perfection

Saadia Iqbal's picture

Many of you are probably familiar with the song "Imagine," by John Lennon, in which he sings about his vision for a perfect world. It's one of my mother's favorite songs, so growing up I heard it a lot, but never gave too much thought to the specifics of his message; I just assumed it was generally about love, harmony and world peace: stuff everyone would pretty much agree upon. 

Here are some lines from the song:

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

What do you think? Does Lennon's idea of a perfect world strike a chord with you? If not, what are your ideas for a perfect world? Dream big and tell us what you come up with.


Submitted by Felipe Parra on
Well... this is a very nice post, first of all. It's pretty rare for someone to appreciate what they have in their minds and the seeds of reality this elements provide everyday. Aside, you couldn't have chosen a better song to call out and know what other people think about the world, nowadays. There are some things about Lennon a lot of people know superficially and that makes his work be understimated in its true value. For instance: Yoko Ono has always been satanized as the Widow Maker of the FabFour of Liverpool. How many people are aware that Miss Ono was one of the most empowering, confrontational and resourceful artist of the 20th century? Her work always said, one way or another: 'women, wake up, you don't have to belong to anyone, first learn to use and to explore what nature gave you'; her insight developed and nourished with other people the artistic movement Fluxus which stated that the body must be the ultimate and first realm of expression and equilibrium between cultural beings (ergo, between human race) and their structures. A lot of Lennon's friends were among people that worked as civil rights defenders. Don't take my word for granted, go to your local library or Google and search about this! You'll be amazed to know to what length he developed a search, from his 30 till his death, to learn and contribute from the artistic corner of life to the big social picture, working so people stop shuting up and talked about things like "it's ok to be gay, it's ok to be lesbian, it's ok to be black, it's ok to be white: learn before trumping the one alongside you". It was all about overcoming differences and finding what unites us. If you tell this to a kid today, or to a very young person in it's teens, you may be shocked to find their edgy skepticism. I don't blame them. There were many things in which we mistook anger with courage and clarity with authoritarism -we, the Human Race. So what do we have now? We don't have people who imagines everyday how to build a better place, we usually have people who are plugged all the time to electronic things or stimulants, being told what to feelthinkdolovehatetrust and they go with the flow because imagination has been retold, one time and again, as being the result of drugs or crazy people and because history itself has being tailored to suit shady voices mostly. It is more important, then, how you brand the movement, that the thing actually that happened. And then you lose it, you lose your ability to dream, because you have to be extra careful of what you say: anarchism, left-wing, right-wing, neopopulism, neofascism, green radical parties... so we have a whole group of people who, literally, couldn't care less about dreams... because THEY ARE NOT SEEING IN REALITY THEY CAN BE CONSTRUCTED! Now, I know this is not the case for everyone -thaaank u Mother Nature ;) . But, I'd like to challenge that view, I feel it's pretty important to let our friends know that change can actually happen. To unplug them. Which is hard, because there are SO MANY economic interests over the table that it's hard to negociate with people that only appreciate money, not dreams. So, my dream? Well, for starters, how about a program that developed people in college by sending them to work in their 2nd year with poverty stricken zones? I think that to do so, to have them randomly put in a) ecological cleaning/landscape creation activities, b) construction sites, c) design and artistic development of community halls, and make them work for a year non-stop in another city, would make maybe not a lot of money for the banks and the politicians (and I won't take it back), but may create people who can rest at night easier because they feel that they can get a better grasp of reality than get your diploma, get married, reproduce, die with the evident plus of actually talking the walk of 'ooooh, those poor people, I wish I could help 'em. Oh well, let's change the channel!'. Also, I can really see happening, in not a very far time, many cultural movements making our life upside-down over one thing: overproduction & co. I think it's not very far the day in which we can see hordes of people cleaning out through out their cities and holding really accountable the people who waste in other people backyards. And it would also be beautiful to see a whole group of people changing the facades of the buildings in order to make them visually more armonic (because it's really depressing to see all your life a beautiful delicate redtile house and the next day wake up and see as your neighbor a small building that took classes from the Guggenheim)... I dream that the day that happens, a lot of people will feel less angry about their cities and more openly willing to share experiences in a beautiful sorrounding -something that doesn't have to be expensive or complicated to happen. Whew! Got a little carried away, huh? Ok, so, I think about this subject like this and I feel about it too this way... whaddya think? If you consider it good enough, please do a follow-up article. ;) P.s.: Thnx once again. :D