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Monday, November 2, 2009


Written by: Rick Staggenborg, MD on Dec 8, 2009 10:53 PM PST

This essay is dedicated to John Lennon: this world was always meant for someone as beautiful as you.

I was wandering toward uptown Manhattan after a meeting today with no particular destination in mind when it occurred to me that I was nearing Central Park. I had not been there since the tenth anniversary commemoration of the murder of John Lennon and I wanted to see Strawberry Fields again. This brought to mind an old friend who worshipped Lennon and his music and was depressed every time the anniversary approached. When I called her to tell her that I was going to visit, she surprised me by reminding me that that today was the anniversary of his death. I promised to send pictures and hurried on, reliving memories of the emotions of 1990, when memories of Lennon were still raw.

As I approached the entry to the park in the shadow of the familiar Dakota Building where Lennon lived at the time of his murder, I was briefly transported back in time to the crisp Autumn day in 1990 when the mourners gathered here, weeping and singing, to honor the life of this gentle prophet who laughingly challenged the world to dream of peace while the war in Vietnam raged on. For his efforts, he was hounded and eventually prosecuted by the US government on a charge of marijuana possession. The attendees at this memorial were conscious of the sad irony that after all John lived for, the world seemed to have learned nothing, as Americans were killing and dying in the Persian Gulf to defend our oil supplies.

My mood was slowly dispelled as I looked at the scene around the memorial. Where celebrant mourners had honored Lennon by strewing flowers and mementos around the marker where he fell, a “tribute” band was playing, surrounded by a crowd overwhelmingly too young to remember him from personal experience. The crowd was happy, with no trace of the bittersweet nostalgia for the man whose words and song had meant so much to them as they had struggled to make sense of a world gone apparently mad. Many of the songs they played were banal and totally inappropriate to honor this warrior for peace. Lennon wrote a whole anthology of battle hymns for the war against war that has largely been forgotten by a generation that is not compelled to confront the reality of combat.

As one who is dedicated to ensuring that war is rendered unthinkable in my lifetime, it is difficult to accept that lessons we learned so painfully have been so soon forgotten. I left Strawberry Fields and walked slowly from Central Park more than ever determined that we as a people shall become the teachers who will train our children to change the world and the doctors who will heal ourselves. I will not willingly go to my grave knowing that I have given less than my all to ensure that our children’s children have a better life than we at present appear to be leaving to our own. I hope that the lesson we have to impart to our children is not one so painful that they will lose sight of its meaning. There is hope yet, but only if we make the effort to reach a generation that has understandably tuned out, turned off and dropped out.

In the words of John Lennon:

Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.


Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Minister, Sinister, Banisters and Canisters,
Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop Eyes, Bye bye, Bye byes.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.
All we are saying is give peace a chance.

(Let me tell you now)
Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
Revolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, Regulation,
Integrations, mediations, United Nations, congratulations.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance

.Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary,
Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper,
Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna
Hare Hare Krishna.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

Rick Staggenborg, MD

New York, New York


  1. There has long been speculation that Lennon was murdered because of his peace work and that Chapman was used to do this. I could never figure out how this could be done, but Jesse Ventura lays out in American Conspiracies evidence that MK Ultra was used after it was supposedly shut down to brainwash people like Chapman, Sirhan Sirhan and others to kill those too effective at building resistance to their wars of Empire: http://www.amazon.com/American-Conspiracies-Dirty-Government-Tells/product-reviews/1616082143/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

  2. A peace is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued, and neither party loser,A people free to choose will always choose peace.
    An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.Every goal, every action, every thought, every feeling one experiences, whether it be consciously or unconsciously known, is an attempt to increase one's level of peace of mind.
    For behind all imperialism is ultimately the imperialistic individual, just as behind all peace is ultimately the peaceful individual.
    I don't know whether war is an interlude during peace, or peace an interlude during war.
    I think it's naive to pray for world peace if we're not going to change the form in which we live.
    I'm concentrating on staying healthy, having peace, being happy, remembering what is important, taking in nature and animals, spending time reading, trying to understand the universe, where science and the spiritual meet.

    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
    Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.
    There is no way to peace peace is the way"""""""
    The mission of the organization shall: hold peace as an organizing principle; endeavor to promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights; strengthen nonmilitary means of peacemaking; promote the development of human potential; work to create peace, prevent violence, divert from armed conflict and develop new structures in... nonviolent dispute resolution; and take a proactive, strategic approach in the development of policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, nonviolent intervention, mediation, peaceful resolution of conflict and structured mediation of conflict.Their is no way to peace peace is the way:

    pals share with us:

    speak to:
    MANAGING DIRECTOR on the following address.
    +254 729 808 598

  3. Very well said, Gideon. In a few sentences, you have stated the essence of what I am trying to convey in this book. Please tell us more about your organization on our Facebook page. I may be interested in having you on the internet show SFPI Radio.

    Please ask to be added to the contact list of SFPI Radio on Skype. You can call into the show from anywhere in the world (except presumably China and Iran) for free using the account.

    If you create a Blog Talk Radio account you can participate in the chat room and receive automatic notifications of upcoming shows by email. Just go to the SFPI page and hit the "follow" button once you have set up your account: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sfpiradio/2011/08/22/soldiers-for-peace-international-ptsd-the-human-cost-of-war


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