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There is no going back.  However, revisiting the past is not only possible, it allows tools to be carried forward.  Tools of perspective which when applied, build on experience that transform the present. Isn't that what change is? Isn't that what we signed on for when we voted for Obama in 2008?
From OPOL's book, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, the Hippy Diaries, regarding change in the 1960’s :

“we were tied together by an earnest desire to make sense of an insane world.”
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“we were bound and determined to change the world and shared a powerful sense that we had a unique opportunity to do so. “

(all blockquotes in this diary are OPOL’s own words.)

Does that strike a cord that resonates with the recent past?  It does in me.  

Flip with me to read a bit about OPOL’s book.

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Randy Shields, known as One Pissed Off Liberal aka OPOL, has been writing diaries combining rant with nostalgia for years on Daily Kos, reminding us of how some people (dubbed hippies) of the nineteen sixties and early seventies took on The Establishment.  Their activities brought about the end of a long and deadly war.  They opened possibilities for those who didn’t look, dress or act according to prescripted roles.  OPOL’s book is a collection of his Daily Kos diaries that have been reworked and expanded. It is a clarion call to wake the activist in each of us living in this new millennium.    

OPOL writes passages of his own unique voice and interjects numerous quotes from the leaders of that time. From those who demonstrated in the streets; who walked the halls of Government; who spoke at gatherings in churches, schools, and commons;  those who sang different tunes, and those who died even while calling for peace and love. Throughout the book, OPOL tells the stories of those incredibly courageous people.

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”After all, isn’t that what the counter culture wanted? Peace, a cessation of hostilities, a more loving and sustainable culture, equality for all. We basically wanted our government to adopt the physician’s oath, first do no harm. We wanted alternative energy and long term social and ecological planning, and we wanted to be a nation that befriended other nations.”

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I’m leaving the reading to you.  The book touched some powerful memories in me. These memories filtered through OPOL's perspective generate hope.  People changed their hearts minds and actions because of the hippies.  Since Reagan, those changes have been chipped on by chisels wielded by greedy weasels. Today many never experienced the sixties, so they can not remember what the revolution was all about.  We are encountering the destruction of the middle class, resulting in a turning back to prejudice, violence, and misogyny.  OPOL shows us the past could be overlaid on today.

Love, peace, compassion, charity, mercy- these are qualities of which we are all capable. These are chief among the human virtues that make life worth living. Why wouldn’t we nurture these noble qualities and be guided by them?”

Buy it, Read it and Keep!

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Originally posted to ilyana on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 11:18 AM PDT.

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