Wednesday, 20 July 2016

It's hard to choose your battles as a hippy

When someone mentions the word hippy I know just what springs into most people's minds... tie dyed clothing, long days of doing not much other than relaxing and listening to groovy music and big plates of mushy food. But that's Okay, hippies are kind of 'out there' pacifists who don't care anyway.

I'm a hippy and not only am I a self professed hippy. I heard my little sister referred to me as 'a big old hippy' to her local postie. I'm not quite sure how well she understands what a hippy is really, I'm not qutie sure many other people do either. Maybe you yourself are a hippy and don't even know it! Perish the thought.

The first false assumption made about we hippies is that we are pacifists, we are not. We choose our battles, every day. There is a list as long as your arm plus your best friend's arm to choose from too. The captain of the army we face in battle is ourselves, and we have faced this most formidable old war dog many, many times. Just as Krishna urges Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita to fight, we also fight. The first battle we fight, the longest battle we will ever fight is with ourselves. It can start when we are quite young, and often does. You may recognise the signs of the battle lines being drawn in sentiments shown by teachers and friends? Always the cry is to conform with the herd. That's if you know what's good for you. We hippies however, don't really have a choice when it comes to conforming, we just can't. Some young hippies in a mainstream society may try very hard to conform and this can cause all sorts of psychological issues in the long run.

The battle to be true to ourselves in the face of great pressure to conform, we're on the front line. Something deep within us knows better than what conformity calls us to not blossom as. It can take quite some time to win ourselves over to the idea of supporting ourselves and then we battle society, family and friends. We battle the social structure around us. Because we know that social structure supports the very thing we believe needs to cave in.

So what battles ought a good hippy choose? To stick with veganism, reduce one's carbon footprint, always support live music, poetry and art? How far does a good hippy take their war effort, as far as spinning and weaving one's own clothes. Ought a good hippy get involved in politics, equal rights, gay rights and animal rights? What about fair trading, sustainable farming and building? There is a dichotomy here, on the one hand, at heart we are pacifists and prefer the gentle path and yet to follow the hippy heart we need to be true to that pull which insists we support compassion and care for all.

Of course we'd rather be sitting about in our tie dyed jeans sipping on home grown tea looking for animal shapes in the clouds, but we have too strong a conscience for that, and we can be very hard on ourselves.

We're warriors of the light! This does not mean it's easy to choose our battles. If you're a big old hippy and you are reading this, remember to be kind and gentle with yourself. Show yourself compassion too. If you know a big old hippy, know they are strong person who is just amazing.


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