by Jude Southerland Kessler …

Every time I’m interviewed, I’m asked the same question: “What is it that keeps the phenomenon of The Beatles going and going and going?” And if you can explain it, you’re a better man or woman than I.

The Beatles were frequently asked that self-same question, and they had no answer for it, either. In fact, John Lennon once famously quipped that if they knew, they’d look for a band (or create a band) with that magical element and become their managers! (Life would certainly have been much less stressful for John, Paul, George, and Ringo if that dream could have come true.)

Four generations of ardent fans all readily admit that the Fab Four’s music is unparalleled. The sheer diversity and depth of Beatles’ music (not to mention the incredible beauty of it) cannot be rivaled. (Think: “In My Life,” “Blackbird,” “Something,” “Yes It Is,” “Yesterday,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Goodnight,” and so many others!) But I don’t think the music alone would have stirred as much emotion as The Beatles still continue to stir, 60 years after the fact!

And yes, we all know that the boys were and are wonderfully unique: witty, urbane, and talented in so many other areas besides music! They are gifted writers, photographers, artists, actors, and activists. So, that’s another piece of the puzzle that makes them exceptional.

But I think one reason that they continue to affect lives and change lives in 2021 is that they taught us (and are still teaching us) lessons we’ll never forget. Here is, for your approval, “Ten of the Most Important Things We Learned from The Beatles:”

1. Love is all you need.
2. Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.
3. Money can’t buy me love. (And in a later song, “Love is the one thing that money can’t buy.”)
4. Tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.
5. And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
6. Say the Word, and you’ll be free … say the word ‘Love.”
7. I get by with a little help from my friends.
8. Pride can hurt you, too. Apologize.
9. It’s getting better all the time! (Can’t get much worse!)
10. Give peace a chance.

Of course, there are so many more. (Help me by adding other Beatle quotes in your comments. I know I’m missing some of the best!)

The Beatles, quite frankly, taught us “the basics.” And they cleverly employed the magic of “music-instruction,” which embeds a lesson in one’s memory in a powerful way that no other form of learning can. Still today, the lads are teaching people ages 2-92 about what really matters in life and what does not. Expression and freedom matter. Lives, all lives, matter. Peace matters. And love matters … love matters most of all. Love was and is their bottom line.

Since those early days in the late 1950s, The Beatles have been our beloved mentors and guides, and with them, we “have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.” That, I believe, is the best part of their magic. It is timeless: it endures. It goes on and on.

Let it be.

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