In defence of being a modern day hippy
Since I was about 19, any time I have been asked whether I am happy, regardless of what is going on in my life, I can always say with 100 per cent certainty: “yes”. I am happy. I am grateful for what I have and who I have in my life, for what I have achieved and what I have made of myself. I undoubtedly owe that all to being a massive hippy.
When I say hippy, I mean that i’m very liberal. I’m all about the human race all joining hands, singing Kumbaya by the fire (or another song that is less centered on Christianity, whatever dude) and loving each other deeply.
I believe in almost everything that cannot be definitively proven false; aliens, horoscopes, conspiracies, ghosts, giant talking tree Gods, the singularity, whatever. Because why not? We gain absolutely nothing by being close minded to these things. Yes, I accept that there is a big chance that none of these things exist, but there’s a tiny chance they might, and it doesn’t offend my sensibilities to bet on that tiny percentage; I have no reason not to.
I do yoga, I meditate, I (try to) follow the teachings of the Buddha and I try not to judge anyone, or incite hate towards anyone or make anyone feel alone. This can sometimes be hard, because people are people, but I generally try to be nice.
These things make me ‘naive’ by a lot of people’s standards. It’s a word that’s been thrown around a hell of a lot on social media recently, chastising liberal points of view by saying “oh, they’re naive”, “oh, the world doesn’t work that way”. Actually, the stuff that I believe in has just as much backing as anything on the opposite side; socially, politically, religiously, the way I think is just another way of thinking, so what gives anyone the right to scoff and me and laugh?
Why is it that when people say they believe in God and Christianity, nobody blinks, but when I mention spirituality and Buddhism everybody starts rolling their eyes and looking exasperated and bored. So a floating white guy in the sky with a beard is believable to you but the idea that ‘good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people’ is totally lost on you? Whatever man. Are you annoyed that my answer doesn’t fit your preconceptions? I’m not just trying to be edgy and different, I genuinely believe these things and it’s upsetting to see it ignored and laughed at so often. I’m not trying to be a dick here but you asked.
Yes, I believe in astrology, I believe that all people are basically good, I believe that there is absolutely no reason to kill another human being (no, not even rapists and paedophiles, no, not even if they had a gun to my head; fetuses don’t count), I believe in hope and love and beauty and all the other stuff people started sneering at in high school.
I follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest musical, artistic and literary greats; from the people who brought you some of the first birth-control pills, feminist rallies and gay rights campaigns; the people who were trying to save the planet well before ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ surfaced. I just don’t see what’s so wrong with being hopeful and open minded.
Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to hear someone complain about something that you know will be eased by meditation and yoga, to then suggest it and have them look at you like you’ve just suggested they shave all their hair off and sacrifice it to the Lord of Light?
If people actually took the time to learn about the ancient practice that has helped literally hundreds of thousands of people feel much better all over the world for centuries then they might change their minds. The problem is, the more I try to explain myself, the more I sound like a laid-back hippy, and the less interest people pay to what I have to say.
I simply don’t understand what’s so laughable about being nice to everyone. If someone tells you that you’ve offended them, you don’t get to say that you haven’t. And really, why fight it? If someone says “you hurt my feelings” why is the general reaction to say “well your feelings are too fragile then, dickface”.
Let yourself be educated by other people, let yourself be wrong and be wrong graciously. Even if you are right and your mind can’t be changed, at least take other opinions on board and agree to disagree. It’s really that simple.
Yes, I understand the whole ‘the real world won’t protect you’, ‘you have to find out sooner or later’ mentality, but if everyone was a bit more forgiving, then maybe the real world would work that way. Everyone is so damn angry at each other nowadays, it’s really not that difficult to just take a deep breath and let it go. I’m not sitting saying that if we all just believe hard enough and wish upon the fucking brightest star in the sky we’ll all suddenly transform into happy people, i’m just saying, y’know, one drop in the ocean. Be the change you want to see.
I don’t say these things to try and sound better than anybody else, I have flaws, massive flaws. I preach this stuff because I know it works. I am a happy person and it’s because I think this way. I feel fulfilled and grateful every day of my life. I feel calm and happy almost all of the time. I just want to share it with everyone else. Don’t knock the hippy life until you’ve tried it. Namaste.