Well, here we are, Inauguration Day, 2017! I don’t know about you, but I am one excited old hippie! It has been decades since we’ve had the opportunities before us that I see now. It’s a day of renewal, a day of hope, a day of opportunity.
Wait a minute, you’re saying. Who are you and what have you done with the real old hippie?
Nope, it’s me. Let me clarify a couple of things. At the very beginning of the latest election season (what was that, like 2012?) I said the best thing for ‘Murica would be Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as the two choices come November. Said it publicly on several of my social media pages. Meant it then, mean it now. And I’ll admit I did not vote for Trump. I do my research, throw out the severely biased chatter, and after all that, I ask myself, would I like to have this candidate to my home for a conversation, would I be comfortable with that? Would this candidate make decisions that align with my personal philosophies? Given that I have a wife, am responsible for a baby girl, have a sister and a mother, have many friends of a variety of races and ethnicities and persuasions, I couldn’t say “yes” to those last questions without violating my own personal morals and ethics. That’s just me, doesn’t have to be you. Read on…
Websters defines “hippie” as “a usually young person who rejects the mores of established society…and advocates a nonviolent ethic; broadly : a long-haired unconventionally dressed young person.” We all (well, those of us old enough) remember that it also meant you had a healthy distrust, or at the least, skeptical view of, the government in general and politicians in particular. Take out the “young” part, and that’s me. Always has been. For me, Sanders and Trump were the anti-establishment options. The least “politician-like.” The Republicans figured that out. The Dems let me down. But that’s another blog post altogether…
So here’s my point. A lot of the old hippies “sold out to the man” somewhere along the way. It’s cost us, it’s cost this country. And it saddens me. But I’m excited for the coming years. It’s time for a hippie revival (I call copyright on that—future band name)
The division in society right now has grown to the levels of the Sixties. But that was a terrible time, you say, protests, violence, upheaval. Yeah it was. People engaged, got involved, spoke out, demanded change. And you know what, I’ve not see this many people “vowing” to hold the incoming administration accountable, “vowing” to stand up, to speak out, to get involved, since the Sixties.
That era, those actions, those protests by all those “dirty commie hippies” produced an unprecedented level of social advances, it encouraged learning and exploration (remember those guys on the moon? We did that!), and the art! My opinion, but the Sixties and early Seventies gave us a big chunk of the greatest literature, music, and visual and performance art this country has ever produced. At the very least, Saturday Night Live (debut – 1975) has improved. They’ve skewered every President since ’75, but since Ford, they’ve not had all that much material to work with.
So yes, It’s a day of renewal, a day of hope, a day of opportunity. Speak out, make art, compose, write, protest, organize, march, get off social media once-in-awhile, get involved and make a damn difference in somebody’s life, in society. Forget “sides,” I don’t care which side you’re “on,” do something to make somebody else’s journey a little better. Suspend your narcissism occasionally. If you can’t kill your ego, at least turn the volume down. Let your light, your vision shine through instead. Make it better.
Look, we are all moving toward enlightenment, some are just at different points along their path. As such, we should all hope and wish for each of our fellow sentient beings, which does include Trump and all his supporters, to continue along their path toward enlightenment. I also believe, in true old hippie fashion, that it is our moral duty to help others first and foremost. That includes someone with Trump’s proclivities and penchants for the mundane and base things in the world. We can still hope for them, send them positive wishes and energy. And oftentimes, helping them along their journey means holding them accountable for those traits detrimental to their achieving enlightenment.
The first steps? Remember we’re all in this together. Be accountable. Be present. Be intentional. Be active. Most importantly, be kind!
Peace and Love, y’all.