The Love You Take is Equal To The Love You Make*

Ever since my relationship with Hippy Timmy (who taught me anything and everything about the Beatles, which alone made it fantastic) I’ve had a personal rule about the song “Imagine”. Whenever I hear it, I have to say or do something nice, usually to the first person I see. I figure that’s something John would have wanted.

When I was in London, something awful happened back in the States, and the entire world freaked out. London set out on a mission of love and peace and support… so naturally, we heard John Lennon everywhere we went.

I was shocked by the amount of homeless people I saw in London. I’d see three or four just on the walk from my school to the tube, and I never really got used to it. But there were regulars… like the guy with the dog outside the grocery store on Baker Street or the lady holding a baby at the McDonald’s on Edgeware.

But the man who totally blew my mind was Recorder Guy. I’d pass by him every day, this grown man who was forced to survive by playing “Greensleeves” on the recorder all day long. I mean, most of us learned how to do that when we were kids, and it’s scary to think that he’s forced to rely on that skill to live.

So one day, I was walking by the grocery store with Little Mom, and the store was blaring “Imagine” with all of the doors propped open. I opened my mouth to say something nice to her, but then I saw Recorder Guy. I reached into my pocket, felt around, and threw what I found into his hat. It turned out to be a ten or twenty pound note. I didn’t really look. It was all I had, so it was his. Never underestimate the power of the Imagine Rule.

After his reaction, which I’ll never forget, Little Mom and I started to walk away and she whispered, “Did you mean to do that?”

“It’s just this thing I have with “Imagine”, I explained, and as we made our way down the street I told her about my rule.

A couple of weeks later, I was walking down Baker Street and I heard the familiar melody of “Greensleaves” floating through the air. I searched through the crowd for Recorder Guy, and right as I spotted him, he glanced over at me and fumbled to change his tune.

And then I heard it… even though the pitch was off and he missed a few notes, he was playing my song. Our song. Recorder Guy had taught himself how to play “Imagine”.

I should a bit miffed that he learned how to “beat the system”, but it totally made my day. I made sure to stop by his hat whenever possible for the rest of my time in London, and it was worth every single pence.

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day. So I want you all to pretend that you just heard “Imagine” and do something nice for the first person you see after you read this. It’s amazing how much a kind act for someone else can do so much for you, too.

* And YES, I know that Paul said this. But John and Paul always did work well together, for the most part. So.


Filed under Adventures, Favorite Stories, London

4 responses to “The Love You Take is Equal To The Love You Make*

  1. Ray

    I remember that guy, a lot of the homeless people had dogs too, interesting.

  2. Jen

    Somehow I had never heard that story. What a great effing story! I told Ron’s mom and not only did she get chills, but she has also decided to adopt the “Imagine” rule too! Nice work, Steffy. Goodly done. Well played.

  3. Seriously? I guess I just assumed I told you already.

    That’s cute that his mom adopted the Imagine Rule… and I have to say, every time I hear “In My Life”, I think about her and Ron dancing at your wedding. That totally made me tear up.

  4. Pingback: Go Shortcake, It’s Your Birthday | Secretly Stephie

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