In the late 60's and early 70's, we, the youth of America, were united in our rejection of our parent's values and our opposition to the Vietnam War. We began to realize that much of our parent's value system was based on government propaganda and hypocritical, moralistic religious values. As this realization set in, it inevitably led to a complete rejection of all that they stood for. The line of thinking became, "If my parents or the government said it, it must be a lie!".
This way of thinking created a void. "If we don't believe in their values, what is the truth?" So we set out in search of answers. There was no unusual idea or philosophy that we were not willing to try on for size. We began to smoke Marijuana and take LSD to "expand our minds". We studied eastern philosophies and socialism. Our research into socialism led to the the formation of communes which segregated themselves from the rest of society, so that they could live out their ideals, safe from the prying eyes of "Big Brother" (the government). We gradually formed a belief system based on the concept of the inherent value of each
individual. We believed that the human body was beautiful in it's natural nakedness, in all it's many shapes and sizes. We rejected the concept of marriage. Even one-on-one relationships were frowned on in some circles. We rejected the moral taboo towards adultery and practiced "free love", believing that sex was a wonderful thing, not something to feel guilty about. We had many sexual partners and they were chosen because they were wonderful people, not because they were beautiful or handsome. (You must remember that AIDS and Herpes were not around in those days.) And music was a central theme in our lives. There was a love of music that does not exist today. It was so important in our lives, that it could almost be described as religion to us. We were truly "Love Children".
Unfortunately, we were naive about many things. We believed we could change the world by setting an example. As we grew older and opposition to our lifestyle grew, we began to have our own children. The responsibility of children forced us to enter the workforce in order to support them. This in turn, forced us to conform.
Now, most of us are in our late 40's and early 50's. There aren't many communes left and those that are, are populated by people that are just barely getting by. I have changed much, but still retain much within myself that I believed in then. I will always have my memories of that incredible time of optimism. When I run naked on the beach in Jamaica, I feel like a hippie again....and it's wonderful.