by Tyler Woods
I was talking to someone yesterday and somehow we got into a
discussion about hippies. I sort of giggled because the word hippy
just sounds a little funny to me and I suspect because I was such a
young hippy as a child. It was hard growing up in a household that
practiced a fundamentalist religion while trying to be a young hippy.
The person I was talking to about it asked me well what is a hippy
and it got me thinking….
I suppose I made the perfect little hippy. I was young during the
time hippyhood was big but hippies had one thing that I wanted. Part
of being a hippy was that people didn't follow the teachings of its
elders but followed their own path. Because we hippies followed our
own path, I had to be closeted hippy as my parents religion did not
believe in freedom of choice or voice. So I became a hippy in the
quietness of my bedroom, schoolyard and where ever I could sneak out
my headband, love beads and pins that said Tune In, Turn On, and Drop
Out which was the motto of the hippy movement and speak out against
conforming to the establishment, even though I was too young to know
what that meant, I did know it meant some sort of freedom.
The Hippie movement started in San Francisco and the idea of being
free spirited and not following the general populations concepts
spread like wildfire. It also got hippies a bad name. Conservative
people believed hippies were just has beens who did not want to
confirm to a set of rules. However some research I have read in the
past indicates that many hippies came from middle to upper class
families who were just sick and tired of conforming to religion,
politics, and a set of rules that was not conducive for a free mind to expand.
Expanding our minds was important because as hippies we stood for
peace, love, and trying to escape capitalistic and materialistic
societies and fighting senseless wars. But hippies were more than
just folks with beards and headbands with peace signs and bell-bottom
jeans and tie dyed garments.
Hippies were a culture. Within that culture they believed in speaking
their truth and not worrying about consequences. They liked eating
organic food and not eating tons of lard and processed foods. They
were instrumental in introducing vegetarian lifestyles. Hippies
believed in faith in truth rather than faith in man made religion.
They believed in causes and protested those causes even if it meant
they would be jailed for their belief systems. When most people think
of the Viet Nam war they think of the hippy movement, the protest
songs, the sit-ins, the demonstrators and of course Kent State.
Yeah yeah they believed in drugs, sex and rock and roll. But every
generation had something whether it was alcohol, pot, or LSD. The
hippy culture was a reminder that change could happen and could be
made by a handful of people.
Where have all the hippies gone? Sadly today we do not have that same
desire for activism or causes. So many people have once again
conformed to the materialistic societies of computer games, cell
phones, and technology. If there is a cause, we will twitter, digg,
facebook or myspace it. Why should we march or protest. That means we
would have to get off our behinds and go against the norm.
We could actually use some of our modern technology to help with the
cause and make us more conscious rather than remaining in an
unconscious frame of mind staring off into some TV program or video
game. We could actually care about something besides what we have
and don't have, what brand it is and how many we have or how much of
it we have. I say let's recreate history and bring back our own
voice. What do you think?