At the moment, I can not read an article without picturing how I would illustrate it. This interesting read was on the opinion pages of the Guardian.
‘It’s easy to mock old hippies, but what the world needs is peace and love’ written by Carol Birch, made me think about my rather liberal childhood and the influence it had on forming my own belief systems.
In the 70′s, when we first moved to Colchester, we stayed at a hippy commune in East Bergholt. And for many years, after moving into our own home, we visited their yearly music festivals, craft fairs and social events.
Growing up in a free thinking socialist household kind of guaranteed my belief in the power of collective communication. As a teenager I marched against the Poll Tax, camped out at CND protest sites and attended Green Peace rallies.
Experiences that not only enriched my youth, but taught me to speak out when I believed something was unjust. To be myself, even if it meant not quite conforming, and to love with passion. I met some colourful people too, learnt a lot of tolerance and improved my knowledge of the wider world.
Lately I have worried a lot about the woes of the world. Everywhere you look injustice prevails, corruption conquers and greed robs. Yet no one wants to talk about it.
Carol Birch suggests in her article, that we have lost the capacity to communicate, for fear of reprisal. People don’t want to debate, disagree or challenge one another’s opinions anymore.
I agree…..I am hard pushed to find a friend who wants to talk about current or social affairs these days. ‘Oh, get off your soap box Rachel’, I hear before I even finished sharing my thoughts and concerns.
Whatever the reason, I believe we are all missing out. Missing out on learning from one another, from growing together and from instigating change together. Lessons I learnt from the hippy movement and lessons we could perhaps do with following today.