Woodstock 50 - What have we learned here?
"There's something happening here,
What it is ain't exactly clear..."
Stephen Stills and The Buffalo Springfield
For What It's Worth 1966
This week end is the 50th anniversary of Woodstock.
It’s taken me back to place where I could see that a sense of shared purpose – a search - can bring people together.
A place where I learned that together our capacity for effort is so much more than we imagine.
A place where I learned a funny thing about love – the more you share it around, the more you have.
Lots of people will be reflecting back this weekend about what the 'hippie era' accomplished - what it meant.
Here's what I got.
There are more people living more peacefully today than ever in the history of the planet. And we know that. Before Woodstock peace just meant the short lulls between the wars and violence of the world. Now the world insists peace is the natural order of things. That's a pretty big change in expectations. But the important thing is we can imagine more and better still. We've got our hopes up for even more peace, more health, more prosperity. We can't always change the world, or other people. But we can change our expectations. Now, we’re all imagining that we can all do better. And that together we can all look after the planet better.
That’s what changed in the Woodstock era.
We got our hopes up.
The ironic part is those of us most disgruntled with that idea, most openly frustrated, calling most loudly that things aren't right, the most bitterly disappointed that we haven't done enough or come far enough, those impatient people, those whose conscience will not release them from the problems of the day, and those most concerned for the rising generation and the shape of things to come; these cranky souls are the real inheritors of the hippie dream.
They have their hopes up - even as they may tell you things seem hopeless.
So what do we do?
Our friend Trudi, who sat up on top of our time traveling bus 50 years ago here at Woodstock and is here with us this week, said it best. When asked what she took away from Woodstock she said simply, we should stay away from things that divide us and focus on things that bring us together. As Dr. Bob says... we. are. one. people.