John Lennon: 40 quotes on his birthday

John Lennon was never at a loss for words. His acerbic wit and clever turns of phrase served as ballast to Paul McCartney's lighter-than-air lyrics and melodies while they collaborated during the Beatles' heyday. After the group's bitter breakup, Lennon's initial solo work mostly found him angry and lashing out at enemies, real and imagined. At times, he seemed to argue with himself. Then, toward the end of his tragically short life, his lyrics began to celebrate his wife Yoko, son Sean, and the joys of home life. Lennon was a complex, gifted and fascinating man, and to our great benefit, he poured all of those aspects into his songs.

John Winston Lennon would have been 72 years old today. Enjoy this mix of interview quotes and song lyrics from his diverse and prolific output.


1. Imagine

"You may say I'm a dreamer/but I'm not the only one."

("Imagine," 1980)

1 of 40

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.