Hippies- You either love them or you hate them.
I’ll precedent this statement with the fact that I have several close hippie friends of my own and could be labeled a ‘hippie’ based on a few of my lifestyle choices. One being: I am handwriting this installation for The Writer’s Block on recycled paper. I obviously have a strong opinion on the culture pulsing through the community I choose to call home… Akron, Ohio. The lifestyle I perceive to be a predominantly ‘hippie’ based culture;One that is catered to our individual plot on the map. First, let us ask ourselves to make a precedent- a textbook definition:
‘hip·pie noun \ˈhi-pē\
: a usually young person who rejects established social customs (such as by dressing in an unusual way or living in a commune) and who opposes violence and war; especially : a young person of this kind in the 1960s and 1970s’
(Merriam-Webster Inc, 2014, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hippie)
Let us create a definition for our humble individuality: Self-absorbed and in most-cases drug-addicted people, willing to give free love and free sex at a moments’ notice. People that live there lives by a veiled standard yet have no substance within. Rotted by drugs and deceit. This is our ‘hippie’.
Hippies in the 1960‘s and 70‘s were changing their world. Huge culture shifts took place. Such as woman’s rights, black liberation, protests of war, and freedom of expression. There was a solid purpose for a change in traditions, a change in simple-mindedness. Nothing was wrong with “tuning in” as Timothy Leary put it…but the impending issue was the conclusion of “dropping out”. I believe in a time where we had the world at our finger tips. Things were changing and people were coming together as one. The government was so powerful that something had to destroy it. Although we can quickly delve into government conspiracy territory here (And will quickly get away from it) you may agree that as a human population we have been controlled and manipulated by higher authorities.
The innate human drive to rebel and not be structured gave way to opportunities to dull and numb the minds of the masses.
Take their message of stillness, compassion, and community and turn it into chaos, free sex, and drugs.
Knowing this whether it be true or not, makes my stomach turn. I devoured this lifestyle as a way to run from truth. Truth of spirituality and a community of religious ideals. Sounds crazy, huh??? I thought so for a long time.
Hippies received their name from the word ‘hip’, which means to be in the know or aware. In an age where anyone has the ability to be educated and incredibly involved, why are we pacified with drugs, music, festivals, self image and art?
Why aren’t we throwing away old ideals that obviously haven’t worked? Apply new innovation to simple human characteristics! Such as hippie ideals of compassion, peace, love, and expression. I’ve seen so many capable people, including myself, sleep for too long hiding behind the lie that the system is far too gone and the only way to rebel is to counteract.
I say the opposite, getting involved, preserving your mind and being in the know is the best thing one can do. By what standards are we basing ourselves on? We think remaining in an old mindset and refusing to mold and grow into a new like-mindedness (one that doesn’t reflect to far from religious ideals which we will touch on later) is going to produce anything more than what we have already gotten? I want to live in 2014…not 1969.
In talking with various people about my chosen message, I’ve run into criticism regarding my choice to remain stubborn on the fact that the focus of this column will remain on hippies, rather than make my message somewhat broader to include other subcultures. i.e. hipsters, punks, or anyone presumably disrupting the socially accepted way of life.
My response is this: I am not above any human beings or any group of people. But I feel strongly about what I consider to be the lies that I have experienced from this culture and the very real things I have come to know about truth, love, and self-knowledge.
I am humbly expressing an opinion that WE HAVE GOT IT ALL WRONG!!
Or not so humbly… crying out for a change! For us to turn around and stop using these gateways of free love, art, and drugs to define our existence. Everything in moderation, right? Until next time….