Do What You Want.
I was stuck in high school during the 60s, so I missed direct participation in the birth of the Counter Culture, but I very much am part of it. I don’t remember the band or the rest of the song, but I remember being stoned on acid and hearing DWYW circle round and round in my head. DWYW is not about indulgence. It is affirmation. Peace, Love, reconnecting with nature, feed each other – healthy food – heal each other, heal the Earth, self dignity, curiosity/education, creativity, justice, sharing. These are the things we wanted to do. It was a time of re-imagining what a conscious quality life could be. I am so proud and jealous of the people on the front lines of the OWS movement, but I have animals to feed at 8 and 6. I support the movement with my whole heart. Please know that I need connection and support too. I will sign any petition that comes my way. What I can do is share the inspiration and help to educate the current generation. The elders have something of value to offer. We know the shortcuts. We have some experience in what works and what doesn’t work.
We had to fight “The Man.” We had to fight the patriarchal family structure, the patriarchal business structure. We had to fight those who wanted us to conform and obey.
Those of us who “Got It,” who believed it, went out in the world and tried to figure out how to make it work. We raised our children to believe they had value and intelligence. We encouraged their creativity. We became farmers and cooks. We became teachers and healthcare providers. Sometimes we became laborers so we could be free to “have a life” outside the constraints of “The Man.” Some of us became businesspersons and designed our businesses to uphold our values. We became spiritual/truth seekers and communicators. Some of us became community organizers or warriors for human rights. Some of us became politicians. Each of us went out and according to our interests, skills and needs to “Do What We Want.” The common thread in all of our lives was the values of life, liberty, justice, dignity, equality, Love, and the pursuit of Happiness. Individually and in small groups we have experimented, innovated, and proved not only the value but the viability of peace and a shared prosperity; we have proved that these values are the only way humankind is going to survive.
“The Man” is still with us, only now we call it “The Machine” or “The Corporation.” The Man is still trying to convince us that we have no value. The Man still thinks that the only reason for our existence is to produce profits for him. 99% of us know different. The Man doesn’t seem to realize that in spite of his best efforts we have learned from and taught each other. We have invented new tools of connection and communication. We believe in ourselves and our values. His day is over.
If The Man had let things well enough alone we would have continued to ignore him and just do what we want. But greed and infantile ignorance got the best of him. He wants to own it all, control it all, and doesn’t seem to understand that He is destroying it all in the process. He has no real power, but he will not quit without a temper tantrum. The debate is over. It is foolish to debate with a two year old. Swat him on the diaper to get his attention and give him a time out. When he calms down explain the rules of behavior and the consequences of breaking those rules. If you want to be an effective parent you must lovingly follow through with just, proportional consequences.
If you know in your gut that what you want is true and good but need credible validation, if you want examples of success, look to the Civil Rights movement, look to the Bioneers, look at holistic business plans; the examples are all around you. Look at the Natural Horse-Man-Ship Movement. It has peacefully, quietly transformed the lives of millions of people and the economy and performance of a whole industry with the tools of partnership, love, and communication. Yes We Can, Yes We Have, Yes We Are changing the world. Be the change. Do What You Want.