My formative years were the years of cultural revolution. While I was too young to participate in the marches and the protests I was there in spirit because I profoundly believed in the rightness of the freedoms that were being fought for and the corruption that young people sought to overthrow.
Music was not only the result of this era but also the driving force behind it. The songs of protest from that period are near and dear to my heart.
There is a segment of today's youth who have attempted to adopt the years of the beatnik/hippie/yippie culture of the late 1950's through the mid 1970's. Drugs, sex and rock-n-roll. Assassinations, beatings and killings for ideals and for supporting the freedom of others were also a huge reality. What is overlooked by the hippie wannabes is that in this time in history there was profound change in attitudes not just about the Establishment and authority but a time when the ideals of peace, harmony and love were the rallying cry. A time of the overthrow of conventionality and it's inherent corruption, of McCarthyism, and of the rise of equal rights for women, civil rights and peace instead of war. A time when young people rose up and wanted something better, something different, something more humane. There was a segment of youth who worked for a greater good not just of "turning on, tuning in and dropping out". Even though the end was not as we would have hoped those of us who worked for change, for equal rights, the environment, a better world; we are still trying because we believe that there is something worth fighting for bigger than ourselves and that in some way either big or small we can make a difference. If those who want to be a part of that era, that period of rebellion against the corrupt, the destroyers, stand with those who tried not to destroy themselves but chose to work toward the changes they wanted to see. Changes that would bring about peace, justice and a sustainable world. Live a life of purpose.