The World was a More Peaceful Place in the 60-70s

The hippie movement heavily promotes nonviolence and the pursuit of spreading love. Within the past 60 years, so much about society has changed from technology, music, agriculture, lifestyle to so much more. The real question is, was life better when the majority of youth promoted love over hate? According to The Guardian, “Many aspects of the hippie lifestyle you thought had died are back with a vengeance.”

The hippie movement impacted many adolescents of the late 60s and 70s who didn’t believe in the typical middle-class ‘American dream’ lifestyle; they found the normal living standards to be materialistic and unnecessary. Hippies were able to create their own distinct lifestyle simply by not abiding to typical standards. Many hippies lived in communal living arrangements, ate unprocessed foods, utilized holistic medicine, traded and much more. They found a way to escape from the society in which their beliefs didn’t align and form lives in which they were happier.

According to Britannica, many critics of the hippie movement believed that hippies were privileged because they “had the ability to check out from society” while minorities still struggled to fully participate in the society that they were trying to “escape” from. However, this has absolutely nothing to do with hippies and their lifestyle; hippies believed in promoting openness and acceptance to all. Despite the misconception that hippies were only white privileged teenagers, there actually was a range of hippies of different races and backgrounds. Hippies of different races were less publicly displayed as the civil rights movement was ongoing and there was still a lot of discrimination.

It’s safe to say that the hippie movement shed many positive philosophies on life that greatly impacted the world. There was a significantly smaller amount of riots and belief based violence that occurred during the 60s-70s and people often refer back to that time to compare today’s riots to previous protests. The peace during the time period was widespread and helped many people who held strong beliefs peacefully protest and express them without causing harm. It could easily be said that the hippie movement helped with the civil rights movement as the most powerful demonstrations during the movement were performed with peaceful protesting such as sit-ins, boycotts, etc. The simple slogan “love not hate” had changed the way people viewed adversity, their peers and the world around them as a whole.

Integrating some of hippies views and beliefs into our modern day world could greatly benefit everyone. As the daily citizen consumes what the media provides them with, which is typically filled with tragedies that occur and not the beautiful parts of life, their outlook on life can become dark and bleak. Imagine what the world could be like if everybody stopped allowing negativity to rule their lives and allowed more peace and acceptance. With all of the negativity in today’s world, a little bit more love and alot less hate goes a long way.