You know who you are. Those of us of a certain age who at one time had such high hopes for a better world. Those of us who remember communes, love-in's, "tuning in, turning on, and dropping out". What happened to all that belief in peace, and our attempts to live it?
What the hippie generation saw so clearly back in the day was astonishingly real. Real also was the power of the old guard. The societal transformation that didn't happen back in the day has caused some to feel disillusionment. But look around. The younger generations are emerging to fulfill what we only glimpsed. And they need the benefit of our learning and our mistakes. We are needed as Elders.
Here's an example of how one of us just did this. In a recent LA Times article, "Advice from a 60s activist to Portland's protesters", journalist and veteran of the antiwar and civil rights movements, David Harris, urges a focus on changing minds not burning down buildings:
"Demonstrations are choreographed statements. The point is to change people's minds. The goal of demonstrating is to reach people who otherwise would not take up the cause of racial justice. The message is most effective when it is accessible, compelling fellow citizens to rethink hidebound attitudes and prejudices. Threatening people and shouting them down will only sabotage this dynamic - as will burning buildings, wearing body armor, throwing projectiles, and picking fights. If it is to have any chance of advancing, the quest for racial justice needs to jettison threatening tactics. Frightening people is always counterproductive, even if it is sometimes emotionally satisfying. The objective should be to convert everyone with whom you have contact, whoever they may be, police included."
Back in 1967, Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical proclaimed, "Then peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars. This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Harmony and understanding. Sympathy and trust abounding. No more falsehoods or derisions. Golden living dreams of visions. Mystic crystal revelation. And the mind’s true liberation." As the countercultural pioneers may recall, we were sure the Age of Aquarius would usher in a world of love and respect for all beings.
Well, the world has a second chance - the Age of Aquarius is officially back! In December of 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will align in the sign of Aquarius. May we generously and wisely serve as Elders to a new generation who will build, as Charles Eisenstein suggests, "the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible."
Dare to reignite your belief in possibility. The younger generation needs our shoulders upon which to stand.