My admiration of the sixties
My admiration of the sixties goes back to the way that I was brought up.
As I was growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, I was taught conflicting lifestyles. My grandmother taught me about nonviolence. The black and white newsreels at the local movie theaters taught me of Gandhi and his nonviolence and at the same time the U.S. government said that everyone was equal. The Good Guys (the ones with the white hats) at the movies did everything right, they did that right before my eyes on the big white screen. The Roman Catholic Church was saying to love thy neighbor as thy self. In our Sunday Schools Jesus was being a really good man. The Garden of Eden was the place to be.
As I looked about the news I received every day said that women were not equal, blacks were not equal, and I was not equal. In the 1940's the Nazi's in Germany were destroying millions of human beings. Islands and nations were being destroyed because of war. Riots were started because people were not being treated right. People were dying because they were good.
I grew up listening to all this information and my mind was being bombarded with conflicting viewpoints. I was an impressionable young man and I believed that what my elders said was the truth, I had no reason to believe that anyone could lie about the world. As I slowly aged, I knew something was not right. My life was confused because of family problems and conflicting news about the destruction of the world (The A Bomb), and this had me not wanting to do anything but understand, no help was given to me. I rebelled but had no place to go. One side of me worked hard and the others side of me asked why? I lived my life as I thought I should after my military tour of duty 1959-1962. There were problems brewing with other young adults, but I knew nothing nor comprehended anything. I worked several jobs moving about. The children were rebelling, young adults my age were rebelling but I still did not comprehend. I knew that the music had been changing, we were hearing about the abuse of the black man with his music and his lifestyle. Society did not want to change to a better behavior toward different individuals. We knew this was not right. Everywhere I turned I realized that something was very wrong, I knew this but I did not know enough to do anything about it.
A revolution was forming right before my eyes. I was too blind to see it or I could not grasp the thought that I could do anything about it. The music was seeing it. Where in the world was I? I was working thinking that my optimism would change the world, I may have been right, but I did not know this. Everything around me was changing. I shared in the feelings of the young adults around me, but I did not see.
I do not take any responsibility for starting a revolution. I was pulled into the full bloom of the revolution by the kindness of my friends. I felt all the warmth of the energy spent in helping your fellow man. I being the fellow man, the earth being the fellow man. I was put in a situation to be helped, to be taught, to be guided. The realm of humanity helping me was tremendous.
The tide of change in my life was done.
I lost my inhibitions.
I learned to express my feelings, to lose the patterns of conformity.
I learned that it was ok to maintain those patterns of conformity,
but it was also ok to be without those patterns of conformity.
Thus done, the guilt in my mind was gone.
These things were taught to me gracefully.
I was free to be me.
I could walk without cloth or shame.
I could visit the Garden of Eden.
I could talk to Eve.
I could share my life and wealth.
I could study all thoughts.
I could see the word.
These were the things I did and learned.
All these things were done during the revolution of the sixties and I continue to live in the community of humans on this planet.
I do hope you may now understand the meaning of community.
I give you Peace, Badaba, Love.
PS. Before you die, do you want to know that you did well and did something right?
Yes, you did and MOST of the world understands and thanks you.
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Thanks to Lou
Words & Graphics by Tomas