CONTINUE JOHN'S LEGACY BY BEING A TRUE FAN
It is my observation that many celebrities have both "true" and "false" fans...a phrase I have coined to distinguish between those who truly appreciate an individual for who they are--versus those who are merely infatuated with a celebrity whom they idolize often on a very juvenile level.
"Works, and not words, are the proof of Love." (Spanish Proverb)
John's music is fundamental...and with it, continuing his legacy is up to each of you. You are the gift. He showed you the way, and now it is up to you to ensure his message--his light--shines brightly. He gave a beautiful gift to us... And so can you.
The word "fan" has for many of us developed a negative conotation due to the shallow behavior of those who simply gossip and chat using John Denver's name to make themselves feel 'special'...they proclaim they are fans and that they agree with his message of love--but their fruitless lives prove otherwise. On the contrary, their meaningless gossip, chit-chat, and mere social gatherings are but a means to make themselves feel good without being good. They gather together on the Internet and in person using his name--but his name for them is but an excuse to group together as a gang who do very little or nothing--but all of whom wish to appear as if they are accomplishing much. Their voices are loud in their self-proclaimed love of JD...but their evil hearts and tongues prove otherwise. Their use of JD's name is but a pretext to group together with others like themselves, who do not care to actually work to accomplish anything which would honor John and continue his legacy, but all of whom share the common desperation of seeking other's approval...when they get together with other's like themselves who do little if anything--while claiming to do good works in JD's name--they feel accepted and adequate. They stroke one another's egos. They are hypocrytes; for they are everything opposite of what JD stood for: love, courage, activism on behalf of the things you profess to believe...a devotion to truth.
Those whose shallow behavior has given a negative feel to the words "John Denver fan" may be receiving some sort of cathartic emotional feeling from their use of his name, but what they do does not honor John...on the contrary, it harms his legacy.
Thus, such shallow behavior has given a distaste to the word "fan," yet so MANY who DO love John and put into action the things they learned from him have no other word to use but the word "fan." I have heard from so many fans who are embarassed by the behavior of shallow fans.
Thus, I now distinguish between TRUE FANS and FALSE FANS.
A TRUE FAN implements what they learned from John's songs, message and life into their own lives--they become a channel for love. A FALSE FAN merely prides themselves on how many concerts they've attended--what memorabilia they own--or how much they can drop his name into a conversation--but THEY MISS THE POINT because they have not chosen to love all--and loving all was the message of John Denver.
True fans listen to the lyrics and try to live the message contained therein...false fans merely quote lyrics.
False fans want to be known as people continuing his legacy without extending the effort, courage and dedication continuing his legacy requires. They hear the words of his songs and know within it is the truth, but they haven't the heart conviction to truly live what he sings of...yet, they want the appearance as if they are fans of John Denver without being TRUE FANS.
It is good to gather with others who also appreciate John--it is always beautiful to join with others who share the same or similar values...and gathering together with others who care about John can be meaningful. I've become aware of such gatherings worldwide (Australia, Germany, UK, New Zealand, etc.) and it is a good thing to see...True fans do such things...and more! They know that it's up to them to continue his legacy in how they choose to live -- not mere lip service to the man. They enjoy one another's company, but they don't limit what they do to something once a year--and they don't just talk about him during the year--they live it by dedicating their lives to love...to sincerity...to truth. John was a man of integrity, and true fans are individuals of integrity--and it shows year-round.
"Do more than hear, listen. Do more than listen, understand."
John H. Rhoades
So, how does his legacy continue...?
First and foremost, John is with us through his music--the expressions of his heart so passionately articulated in song. It is through his music he reached us--then those who understood took the message of his songs to heart--and chose, also, to make a conscious choice to love, thereby making a difference for good in this world.
I urge all who truly appreciate John to not only listen to his songs for the inspiration and encouragement it brings you, but to also share his music with those who may be receptive. So many have shared stories with me of how difficult situations in the lives of those they cared about, opened up a space for them to share John's music with someone...and blessings and miracles followed as someone in emotional/physical or spiritual need found hope and solace in John's messages.
There is power in John's music--it is far more than just pretty songs--for he was more than an entertainer. He was a messenger of truth--and through his songs--that power will continue to be communicated.
Intertwined with his music is the necessity that those of you who got the point--the TRUE FANS who understood the message--you must go out into the world and take action for the things you believe. John's music was an expression of the convictions he passionately devoted his life to--a tool to communicate the things he believed--a way of letting each of us know the tremendous gift each of us can be to this world--if we consciously choose to make a difference by bringing love to the situations we encounter.
His legacy is not any "important" person; his legacy is not any "special" organization; his legacy is not any "special" place; his legacy is not the false fans.
HIS LEGACY IS IN HIS MUSIC...AND IN YOU. SHARE HIS MUSIC--TAKE ITS MESSAGE TO HEART--AND GO OUT AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.
"In the arena of human life, the honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action."
Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics, 4th century B.C
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare."
"Talk is cheap. It's the way we organize and use our lives
every day that tells what we believe in."
-- Cesar E. Chavez
Again, as Chavez, said...talk is cheap. FALSE FANS talk all the time--TRUE FANS LIVE LIVES ENDEAVORING TO LIVE THE LOVE JOHN SANG OF. True fans walk their talk as John did. False fans have a mere social club; true fans do what they can to make the world a better place.
I have been asked by those who truly appreciate and love John, just how did so many false fans develop around a man devoted to peace and love...how could so many have missed the point? In my opinion, based on my observation and experience, I would estimate that approximately 25% of those calling themselves JD fans are TRUE FANS ...the other 75% are FALSE FANS who missed the point.
I think this is a common phenomena around any celebrity...and the false fans of JD are mostly those who were captivated by a celebrity (JD)who was popular when they were teens or young adults. They needed an idol--and some of them chose JD--because he was popular and "cute,"-- someone they could like the music of...then as they aged...they simply continued to say they were fans of JD...yet they never cared to grow mentally, spiritually and emotionally. But John grew...and he expressed an important message to those with hearts who truly listened. But shallow fans missed it...they simply continue to this day to cling to his name based on their shallow values. Because of their emotional weaknesses they remain at the shallow level of needing an idol so they cling to JD's name...it makes them feel good to call themselves John Denver fans and to gather with others who are at the same juvenile level as themselves--BUT THEY ARE NOT THE TRUE FANS...for all true fans appreciate John on a deeper level...true fans endeavor to understand what John was communicating and they then try to live it. They care about what John stood for, and they want to live their lives expressing love, peace, empathy...they seek truth...they are sincere...They get the point John was here to teach us--that each of us can make a tremendous difference if we make the choice to do so. True fans understand it's about how you live each day--it's not about what you do once a year; or what you own; or how many times you saw JD or silly insignificant stories about him; it's none of these things--It's about living what you learned.
TRUE FANS open their hearts and listen to the guidance given them on how they, too, can be a blessing to humanity and Earth. They take to heart John's words...they know continuing John's legacy is far more than throwing around his name frequently and doing one or two seemingly altruistic actions once a year...NO, TRUE FANS CARRY HIS MESSAGE WITH THEM DAILY AND IT INFLUENCES HOW THEY LIVE THEIR LIVES. TRUE FANS CONTINUE HIS LEGACY DAILY...In the love they bring their family, friends, strangers...In the love that guides their decisions politically and socially...In the love which gives them the strength, the courage to get involved and make a difference when an opportunity is presented to them...in the love that makes truth their highest priority in relating to their fellow man...it's the love John sang of and lived.