I was already deep in trying to comprehend and explain just what hit us in the hippie outbreak of the late ’60s and early ’70s. As I’ve recounted, there were many overlapping strands of activity and interests within the movement, many of which continue as active parts of the American scene, and no one could possibly embrace them all.
Many of those I knew could be hardworking, responsible, loyal individuals taking steps toward lofty goals. Some of the others, well, lazy was only part of their problem. ‘Nuff said?
Outwardly, the subsequent decades weren’t kind to our vision, however hazy it may have been. So much went underground, even as it became accepted part of American culture. Organic food, anyone? A peace protest? How about yoga?
And then Bernie Sanders embarked on his White House run. Attending his early town hall meetings was like a retired hippie reunion, except that there were a lot of serious, neatly attired young adults there, too. It felt like a hippie revival, actually, at least for those of us of the more political activist vein, plus a lot of back-to-the-earth types.
Yes! Keep the faith and keep on truckin’!
What a relief after the embarrassing recognition that many who continue in the stereotypical “hippie look” carry an air of loser more than the cutting-edge adventure and discovery we embraced in our youthful exuberance. Yes, there are still beards and long hair, along with the baldness and natural-looking cuts.
Looking back, I can point to a host of reasons the movement lost direction and traction in the ’70s. This time, I’m hoping we can keep our eyes on the destination and our egos in check. We’ve had enough bad trips, OK?
Remember, it’s not just the White House if we want to make the changes we’ve long dreamed.
If we should have learned anything in the hippie experience, it’s this. Nobody can do it alone.