(Actually) Giving Peace A Chance

18 Aug

Today, it finally happened.

I finally had that moment when you experience something so foreign & beautiful that it just completely blows your entire mind. And then you think to yourself ‘This is why I travel. This is why I leave my comfort zone & all familiarity towards something new. Something that effects you so much that it questions how you could have ever lived before without this new perspective.”

The Lennon Wall made me think this today.Image

(Above: The beautiful & so deeply resonating John Lennon Wall in Prague)

In case you don’t know, the Lennon Wall is inspired by late Beatle & human rights activist, John Lennon. Although I am not going to lie & say that I grew up on the Beatles, I do really enjoy their impact on pop culture. However, John especially paved the way for the future. He sang about ideas such as world peace & universal love, which are things that many struggled with during this time & it’s very upsetting to say that a lot of people still are. 

I don’t talk about politics much, but I’m going to for a quick second.

If there are two issues that I feel very passionate about it’s bullying gay rights mostly because they are two issues which really hit home for me. I have been bullied & one of my best friends is gay. It absolutely blows my mind that in the year 2013 there is still so much violent homophobia & preteens are hanging themselves because they’re bullied so much. It absolutely breaks my heart because it’s just so unnecessary. 

It has got to stop. 

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(Above: 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, a bisexual teenage who was known for his activism against homophobia & inspirational videos for victims. He committed suicide after constant bullying. His death inspired me to get involved in these two issues)

Bullying has always been a very interesting thing for me because it’s so ingrained in society. We are taught to maintain normalcy, yet strive towards perfection; be unique but not too different. Um, does that make any f-ing sense to anyone?! No. Because chances are you’re still going to be physically attacked at school or mentally attacked on the internet & everyone around you is going to chalk it up to part of growing up. 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQRuYS_h-Vs

Regardless of your opinion of her, this is a beautiful cover. Esp the verse she adds: 

People of the nation, 

Are you listening?

It isn’t equal if it’s sometimes

I want a real democracy.

Listening to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ puts everything into so much perspective for me. He makes it sound so simple. So basic. We are all humans, we all love & fear, so why do we have to go & complicate it with things like race, sexual orientation & social class? 

We don’t.

Image

(Above: ‘Love is an astronaut, it comes back but it’s never the same’)

Image

(Above: In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make)

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(Above: Coexist)

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(Above: Love is a color only the blind can see)

It’s amazing that The Lennon Wall should be in Prague of all places. Up until 1989, the Czech Republic was actually Czechoslovakia & it was under totalitarian communism. Since I’ve been here, I’ve met more & more Czechs who remember so clearly life before the revolution. They remember newspapers being censored & not being allowed to leave the country. The scariest thing was that they have only experienced true freedom for 23 years. THAT’S INSANE. That’s so recent!

However, The Lennon Wall shows that there is so much hope for the future. People travel from all over the world to spray paint or write their own personal message of what peace is. I just hope that they all truly follow these inspiring words. There is so much sadness in our world. After all the genocides, ethnic cleansing, wars & ‘exterminations’ haven’t we learned? That killing/starving/violently attacking an entire group of people in order to get rid of them WILL NEVER WORK (I’m talking about you, Russia). 

Yes, we have differences. We have odd cultural habits that foreigners don’t understand, but unfamiliar does not mean evil. & Lack of education is no excuse for hatred. We are not all the same, so it’s just better to come together instead of divide. Image

(Above: My own personal contribution, a lyric from the Bright Eyes song ‘Cleanse Song’. For me, peace is based on karma. The happiness you put into the world, you will get back)

I cannot wait to keep returning to The Lennon Wall. Visited by thousands & thousands of tourists every day, the new messages, like the world, are always changing. Until then, I will continue to get more & more new perspective on what it means to find peace, regardless of what happens around the world. It’s just like John said:

“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

I hope someday you’ll join us & the world will live as one.”

-JG 🙂 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “(Actually) Giving Peace A Chance”

  1. ronald stacy December 14, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    Wow! how many people can say they wrote on the Lenin wall. I had a friend once that told me he urinated on it. But that’s another story. Great blog

    • jgravesss December 14, 2013 at 3:47 am #

      It’s the Lennon Wall not the Lenin Wall! It’s for john lennon

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