Last night, I read a novel (Yes, I read an entire novel in one night, and, yes, I know that makes me a nerd.) that was set in the summer of 1967. A young man who was working for a Baltimore newspaper was sent to San Francisco, Haight-Ashbury to be precise, to send in weekly columns about the hippie lifestyle. It was so interesting and different from other novels that I've read about that time period. The novel made a point of explaining how the Haight-Ashbury scene started. There were only a few people in the beginning, and what they wanted was for everyone to give as they were able, to take what they needed, and to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors.This is what I have been saying is my ideal world for years. It is, in fact, true communism and socialism.
These two ideals of society are amazing if they work, and, for a time in the sixties, in very small communities, they did work. We know that these ideals tend to become corrupted, but if they are kept pure, they are exactly the way that Jesus instructed us to live our lives. I have made the statement before that Jesus was a communist and a socialist, and people have gotten really upset with me. But, it's the truth. He was the ultimate hippie. He espoused counter-culture because the culture He was living in was so corrupt. I feel the same way. I think that I could happily spend my life in this type of society. Yet, you hear people say things like, "Communists and Socialists are horrible people." Sometimes the general public even likens them to the anti-Christ, yet that is patently untrue. It is those who bastardize these ideals who are wrong, not those who try to live them honestly and purely.
All of us have also heard that if a person lives in a 'commune,' he/she must be part of some cult. Really? I am not saying that there aren't some cults out there, but they are not living the life I am describing, are they? Can you tell me with perfect honesty that you wouldn't want to live in a community where everyone treated everyone else the way he/she would like to be treated? Where people gave whatever someone else needed, and people were able to get whatever they needed? Where the color of your skin, your gender, the amount of money you had (or didn't have), the way you dressed, the way you looked, etc. just did not matter? If you can truly tell me that you would not want to be able to live that way, then you are completely beyond my understanding. There would be no poverty, hunger, abuse, bullying, mistreatment, class systems, segregation, theft, violence, lack of medical care, or lack of anything necessary for human comfort.
That is what I dream of... That is where I want to be... That is what Heaven looks like to me... If I could find such a commune here on Earth, that is where I would go to restart my life. I'm not talking about doing drugs and "free" love; although that's what most people think the hippie culture was all about. I'm talking about a way of thinking and living. If I had only one wish in this world, it would be that everyone could live this way - in gentleness, love, and harmony, with no malice toward their fellow brothers and sisters. This is something I have thought about for a long time, just ask my former students. I was known as the hippie teacher. LOL But, I take that as a compliment. I am going to leave you tonight with that picture of a wonderful world in your heads. Peace out, friends.