I was thinking about life the other day and two Beatles songs popped into my mind. These two songs made me think that the Beatles were very wise. What songs, and how do I connect the Beatles with wisdom?
First, their song “Help!” Was written in 1965, when they were young. I didn’t see the movie that they wrote the music for, but the lyrics are pretty wise for young men in their 20’s. The song is about realizing that we cannot live life on our own. We need help from others. Listen to these words:
And now my life has changed in, oh, so many ways (my independence)
My independence seems to vanish in the haze (but)
But every now and then I feel so insecure (I know that I)
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before
In our youth we think that we do not need anyone (well… Some think that’s true even when they’re old…). We think that we can make it on our own. But the truth of the matter is that no one is an Island. We are all inter-connected somehow. So, the sooner we realize the need for community, the better our lives will be.
I remember a time in my life when I thought I didn’t need anyone. I was involved in leadership of two organizations, going to school, caring not only for a growing family with two young girls, but a mother who was suffering from kidney failure. My wife, who was also in leadership, and I juggled everything to make it seem like our lives were perfect. In reality we were dying. Then a wise couple confronted us and told us that we need to ask for help. So we ate some humble pie and called out, “Help!” We were blown away by the generosity of people that were just waiting to help.
We always thought that we had to be the ones who needed to lend help, but this experience made us realize many people like to help, and they feel joy when they do. It was a humbling lesson, but one that was much needed. We learned what being in a community really meant – we need each other.
The second song by the Beatles that shed wisdom was, “When I’m sixty four.” This song desires loyalty from a love. Today, with so many marriages ending in divorces, and so many people “trying out” commitment by living together, it seems we live in a world of disposable relationships. I do believe people are still singing similar lines as this Beatles’ song.
When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?
Interestingly, when Paul McCartney’s children had this song sung for him when he turned sixty four, they had to change the lyrics because he was going through a break up with his wife of that time. But the desire for a committed relationship was still evident.
There is a bit of uncertainty in this song, because it is asking the potential love to commit. It would be more complete if the song talked about the singer’s commitment to be there for his/her love when they turn sixty four.
I am thankful to God that He has surrounded me with examples of people who have committed to see through the good times and the bad, and have experiences the joy of loyalty beyond sixty four. I have also seen even deeper commitment of those who cared for their loved ones through Alzheimer’s, Lou Gherig’s Disease, and other debilitating conditions. In every case I have seen the ones who seemed to have sacrifices much be more full of joy and contentment than most people. They have taught me, through their actions, true wisdom.
So, it seems wisdom can come from anywhere. However, to live according to the sayings or songs is the true wisdom. I am confident that my wife will be there for me when the time comes, and I pray that God will give me breath when my wife turns sixty four so that I can be there for her.
13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. Proverbs 3:13-18