As usual I went to my Venezuelan typical dance rehearsals. These rehearsals were from Monday to Friday. A day I can not remember now, I arrived to the place to another rehearsal session. But this time, in the room my companions and I used to dance, I found on the wall a board, and on this board, the lyrics of a song. Some time later, I discovered they were the lyrics from a song named Imagine and played by the famous John Lennon. The lyrics were in English and as by that time I was starting to learn English, I stood in front of the board to try to understand the song and practice the language.

The above-mentioned happened to me like seven years ago, I can not remember the exact year at this moment. Who cares! I think the most important are the reflections the song gave to me in that time and that are still present in mind. Today when I am writing this paper, and I see that experience in retrospective, I find the world, in some way, has not changed that much. To illustrate what I have just said, I would like to share the thoughts I had the first time I came across with Imagine and that I still consider up to date.

Firstly, the clear contrast between heaven and hell. Religions have always sold us the idea there is something called heaven or hell. Places to recompense or punish us. This conditions us because we behave in a limited manner. When we believe in this opposition –heaven and hell-, we act following this idea. In Imagine I found this beautiful and helpful statement:

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

It helped me destroyed the previously mentioned conception; I liberated myself from many prejudices. And I got the free will to think and behave as I consider it is correct. But the idea of heaven and hell is still alive and kicking. Frequently, we have Mormons knocking at our doors and Jehovah’s witnesses in the Bolivar’s square trying to sell us their magazines. And yes, religion is a profitable enterprise and the fear they try to induce on us by talking about hell and heaven is an interesting product, I will not buy.

The second point I want to tackle here is the conception of countries and nationalities. The Beatles invite us to imagine a world without countries and religions. The first time I read this I thought it was impossible, and I still sustain this opinion. Nationalities only serve to separate us. Evidences: when you arrive in France, for instance, if you do not belong to the EU, you have to pass for a kind of special control. You are asked some “nice” questions about the money you bring, the things you are going to do and the time you are going to stay in the country. They want to make sure you are not going to stay in leur pays. It is not that interesting! The Frenchmen are arrogant, anyway.

I am not totally sure, but the Beatles are somewhat naïve when they say the following:

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...

An example, let’s have a look at the Middle-East. Israelis and Arabs are now killing themselves. It is utopian desire, we can not have a world in peace, -CNN needs wars to have a full coverage of them-. But, what impressed me the most are the declarations of two world leaders. Mister Bush said Israel had the right to defense itself and Monsieur Chirac said the reaction of Israel was excessive. However, it seems to be that nobody cares about the innocent people who are dying and fleeing.

Nothing to kill or die for? More than a hundred dead people on the Lebanese side and some others in the Israeli side.

My final consideration centres upon our materialistic side. Imagine tries to make us believe in no possessions. I am so sorry, but we can not. We are important or we are considered nice and interesting people, most of the time, depending on what we own, not in what we are.

We are in a continuing competition to show what we can buy and ostentate. I do not need to go a mile further to make an example visible. My friends engage all the time in a contest to exhibit the newest cellular.

Imagine no possessionsI wonder if you canNo need for greed or hungerA brotherhood of manImagine all the peopleSharing all the world...
I do not want to be a wet blanket, but much of what Imagine invites us to imagine is just that, imagination. My reality shows me a mirror of contrasts: some people trying to loose weight and other looking for something to survive one more day. The Beatles want a world without countries, but some people desire their own nation. It is the case of Quebec; some people there want to separate from Canada.

These were my reflections about seven years ago, now I have tried to illustrate them with present examples. They are up to date and I believe they will keep having life for some more time. I hope I am wrong and the world changes, meanwhile let’s continue imagining and dreaming about.

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