I Believe in Love Because Love is All You Need

Just like many in my family, I became a passionate fan of The Beatles as a teenager. I wouldn’t say it ever escalated into a case of full-blown Beatlemania, but I listened to every one of their albums innumerable times and would share more factoids about the band than most people would ever care to know.

Once I started college I began to fill my playlists with music I thought was more sophisticated by tortured artists like Beethoven and Bob Dylan (I might have had no idea what he was singing about much of the time but I was certain it was really deep). Happy-go-lucky songs likeAll You Need Is Love” just sounded juvenile by comparison.

Despite my efforts to drown out my earlier populist tastes, I would sometimes come across this song while switching stations on the radio:

All you need is love, all you need is love,

All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.

All you need is love, all you need is love,

All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.

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When John Lennon would sing “It’s easy” before breaking into that jubilant chorus, I would cringe internally. Everything in my life – especially my love life- seemed difficult and painful.

At the time, I lived with my parents to save money as I was working several jobs to pay for my classes in downtown Flint, Michigan. I got a glimpse of the suffering many were facing even before the water crisis when I interned in the city’s district court house.

All you need is love? How about food, shelter, a job, and a decent education?

The song seemed superficial, juvenile and dripping with sentimentality. A child could have written that song, I thought to myself. But I realized maybe that’s the point. Every person can love no matter their age, education or income. Even if you have nothing left to give, you still can give yourself in love to another person. It’s what makes us human, it’s what makes this imperfect life worth living. 

I know I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to graduate college and find meaningful work in the city where I have always wanted to live. Even though I have achieved so many of my lifelong dreams, I’ve realized they don’t add up to a meaningful life. We need more. What really matters to me are the relationships I’ve built with the people I love, both back home and where I live now.

Whenever I hear “All You Need Is Love” now, I can’t help but smile and sing along. The Beatles might not be Mozart, but they captured something universal. I believe in love because love is all you need.

 

Mariana

lives in Washington, DC. She is the second oldest of four but is perpetually the middle child. Growing up in Mississippi and later Michigan, her parents raised her to be a steel magnolia that will still bloom despite the cold midwestern winters. She believes in love because love is all you need.
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