In these days of social media, you might begin to think you know someone even though you’ve never met them. You can even have a dialogue with A-star celebrities if you manage to hit the right note that appeals to them.
We feel as though we know people but whilst we can get a relatively clear picture of someone and their feelings, we don’t really know them. That requires something quite different.
However, there are people that have so much written about them, who have been in the public eye for so long, we feel as though we know them intimately. What’s more, we judge them by the comments that other people make about them.
In most cases, this is not entirely fair. In some cases it is tantamount to a miscarriage of justice.
At 3Di Associates, we admire people of immense creativity and intelligence, considering what they can teach us about being a fully evolved human being. Sometimes, we come across people who are extremely rounded and intelligent, but they may have a notable flaw.
Let’s face facts: most of us have at least one flaw.
Our intention here is to consider the positive messages that can be gained from looking in depth at the passion, creativity and intelligence of certain people, which is why Sir Ken Robinson’s book “The Element” is so appealing. In that book, as we have already mentioned, he describes some extremely well-known people who explain their passions and abilities and how so frequently our school system failed to notice them.
John Cleese’s humour was lost in academia until he found other like-minded folk at university. Paul McCartney never excelled in music at school, and whatever you feel about his post-Beatles compositions, one cannot take away the brilliance of his combined work with John Lennon.
Today we’re considering someone who’s been grossly misrepresented and overlooked, who appears to epitomise what it is to be intelligent – beyond the ability to pass examinations. Of course, there’s danger in making such comments about a person that you’ve never met, but in describing some of this person’s attributes, we hope the reader can get a glimpse of how our model of intelligences can be expressed through living in a certain way. Take a look at this article about an exhibition of Yoko’s work at the Serpentine Gallery:
Yoko Ono is a woman who has endured plenty yet through it all she has remained in her element and maintained her passion and her aspiration for a better world.
She has endured great suffering and tragedy in her life. She lived in Japan through the trauma of World War Two, lost contact with her daughter for over two decades all because she chose to love another man, was famously accused of breaking up the Beatles and hated by many world-wide because of it, and then was a witness to her husband being shot dead in front of her.
The heartless outpouring of venom towards this woman was as though it was she who pulled the trigger on John Lennon and not Mark Chapman, yet it was the great man himself who said, “I learned everything from her ……… That’s what people don’t understand. She’s the teacher and I’m the pupil”.
Personally, and again without knowing anything about their relationship other than the huge amount written about them, I would suspect that as in all good relationships, Yoko and John were both teacher and pupil, but that’s another story.
Despite her suffering, Yoko has always been a resolute determined individual who has not been restricted or limited by the views of others. She has been innovative, creative and articulate. Her breadth of creativity flows from artwork to musical compositions, to photography and writing, to performance art and even philosophy. Through her work, she has challenged peoples’ perspectives on feminism, on celebrity, on beauty, on peace and on love, to name but a few.
She is undeterred by criticism because she has a greater vision for the world, and she probably knows just how unintelligent the world can be, and therefore carries on regardless. There is a greater good and a world beyond those who simply cannot understand the creative and intelligent mind.
Yoko Ono has been inspirational in many aspects of art that have been entirely overshadowed by her association with John Lennon. She was the first artist, for instance, to invite the audience to add comments to the writing she’d included in her exhibition. It may seem a small thing nowadays but at the time, interactive viewing of art and artefacts was unknown.
Today, she is trying to set up a series of Wish Trees, where people can place their hopes on a piece of paper and attach it to a tree. It is a simple idea but is perfectly brilliant, and encapsulates the need for us all to share our aspirations and hopes without resorting to violent demonstrations and aggressive action. From that acorn on those trees, who knows what might happen?
Certain pieces of her work are so incredible and yet barely discovered by the majority who still see her as the weird, Asian older woman who stole an international treasure.
Look at this clip from YouTube and marvel at the myriad of interpretations that are as meaningful now as when she first performed it.
Yet, for all her brilliant creativity, there is still something else that makes Yoko Ono stand apart from many people; her utterly determined belief in love and peace, truth and justice, being the greatest triumph over adversity and ill-thought & deed in the world.
Some comment on her peace movement as a throwback to a time long since gone – the sixties of hopeless hopefulness. What Yoko Ono knows that others have tended to forget is that the sixties did offer hope and positive ideas for living a fully actualised and harmonious life. Commercialism, capitalism, greed and conventionalism meant that many positive hopes of the 60s were never realised, but this does not make those hopes and aspirations flawed or impossible to achieve, and Yoko Ono has not abandoned any of them. To her, as to many of us, they are as relevant now as they were then, and we need to work together to see them happen.
“She really believes in love as the transformative energy in the world. That’s her faith.”
Yoko Ono appears to be the sort of intelligent person that fully embraces the model of intelligences that we advocate. She uses her creativity, has a spiritual awareness, thinks carefully and holistically, understands others as well as her own self, acts on instinct as well as logic and intuition, uses her physical intelligence and all of her senses in all manner of ways and ultimately has the most incredible belief in humanity.
Instead of judging her by the opinions of her detractors perhaps we ought to really look at the work and the words of this great woman, much maligned – possibly for being far more intelligent than the majority.
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
“Art is my life and my life is art.”
“I saw that nothing was permanent. You don’t want to possess anything that is dear to you because you might lose it.”
“If your life changes, we can change the world, too.”
“Life with another person is always difficult.”
“Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world. Just start thinking peace, and the message will spread quicker than you think.”
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence. Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance. Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence. Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
“When people get cynical about love, they should look at us [Yoko and John] and see it is possible”
“Spread the word. Spread the peace.”
Thank you Yoko.