Who Are Hippies?
Social discontent among youth was at its peak during the 60s and 70s in the USA. Young men were drafted to fight a war, upon return home they had nothing waiting for them. Meanwhile, young women grew restless about inequality in every sphere of life; jobs were few for the educated, and a general resentment grew. This gave rise to the Hippy Cult which was a countercultural movement that rejected a mainstream life and societal norms. The hippies stand against conformity and cherish uniqueness. The movement originated from college campuses in the United States, but slowly became the symbol of the anti-war and pro-peace movement. Although the movement arose in part as opposed to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (1955–75), hippies preferred being apolitical and indifferent.
The Hippie Philosophy – “Seekers of Meaning and Value”
Hippies embrace the Oriental philosophies, a way of life and spirituality. They are believers in eating vegetarian food and living in eco-friendly spaces. Fundamentally, they promote believing in expanding one’s consciousness and building international communities by traveling around the world. Globetrotting for them was meeting new people and new cultures. Alternative arts, street theatre, folk music, and psychedelic rock was a part of their lifestyle and was used as a way of expression. They believed in returning to a more peaceful and natural lifestyle. They advocated personal release, purification, and illumination through the heightened sensory awareness. (If you listen to – Beatles, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Doors, etc. then you know what we mean.)
Three hippie practices we could incorporate into our lifestyle.
- Organic food, clothes and products – Back then it was “cool” to be in touch with everything natural, respecting “mother nature, reusing and recycling.” Therefore, you will see many hippies wearing naturally dyed colorful clothes (often reused or recycled into new bright color), using flowers instead of ornaments to accessorize themselves, and growing tresses. However, with food the change took time. It was in the early 70’s hippies started traveling. While traveling, they were exposed to vegetarianism and decided to include it in their lifestyle. Hippies, who wanted to seek enlightenment, often chose vegetarianism as a path to their belief. Others took the vegetarian path as an ecological necessity, which set the stage for organic agricultural movement. So, if you want to live a healthier, greener life and save money, then organic food should be your only choice.
- Mind-body-spirit science – This section can be easily converted into two syllables “YOGA.” Hippies believed that yoga is a great way to holistic wellbeing. Hippies thought that the mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected. According to them, people must look beyond their physical self and focus on keeping their mental and spiritual development. They were part of the ISKCON movement which spread out across the world to promote Krishna Consciousness.
- Peace: Flower Children – Peace and Free Love are some of the main mottos of the hippie revolution. Peace as a concept means harmony or absence of hostility. In a behavioral sense, peace is a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of violence between individuals and different social groups. But what did peace mean for the hippies? Here is an example –
Hippies were against the American involvement in the Vietnam War; therefore, they came up with “Flower Power” as an act of passive resistance. A beat poet named Allen Ginsberg coined the expression in 1965 as a way for people to turn war into peace. To give physical form to the poet’s utopia, hippies started dressing in fabrics with floral patterns and would distribute flowers out to both the public and soldiers alike. They became known as flower children, singing and smiling activists who used props to turn anti-war rallies into guerrilla street theatre across the States.
The cycle of just and unjust is never ending, more so today. But instead of fighting unjust with unjust or violence with violence, we should opt for peace. Peace does not mean turning a blind eye to injustice, but finding creative, harmless and non- violent ways of showing disagreement. Practicing peace may not solve your life problems, but it will give you vision and clarity to find the best possible solution.
Did You Know?
The peace sign combines a circle and a vertical line with downward sloping lines forming a sort of upside-down broken cross. During the 1960’s it symbolized the spirit of love, service to humanity, and peace. Its use grew from the anti-war hippie culture. ‘The phrase make love not war’ became quite an anthem.
Founded in 2013, OurHealthMate (OHM) is a health-tech startup. Their award-winning services are rooted in a three-pronged service strategy: care planning, business intelligence, and quality execution. They believe a workforce needs to be physically, mentally and spiritually sound. Hence, they practice a lot of the hippie traditions – such as nature love, plastic-free lifestyle, yoga days, etc. They practice and propagate holistic development of all beings.
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