- Do you believe in peace and non-violence?
- Do you care about the future of the planet and all life?
- Do you actively simplify your life to reduce your impact and aim to be zero-waste?
- Do you grow (some of) your own food and/or support sustainable local food producers and fair trade suppliers?
- Are you into permaculture, urban farming and community food systems?
- Do you connect with your community and neighbours and do projects together for community and environmental benefit?
- Do you wear simple clothing, possibly home-made, second-hand, or made ethically using natural fibres?
- Could your wardrobe of clothes easily fit into a backpack - shoes included?
- Do you like going barefoot and connecting with nature?
- Do you use natural personal care products and possibly even avoid wearing makeup?
- Did you build your own eco-home, or live simply surrounded by natural materials?
- Do you create your own flexible work based around your passions and interests with an eco-social focus?
- Do you find ways to not let money be the key driver in your choices and decisions?
- Do you love independent and world music, and attend music festivals?
- Do you homeschool/unschool/worldschool, and/or immerse your kids in nature and community?
- Do your life goals include wanting to make a positive contribution to society and to leave the world in a better state than how you found it?
If you relate to more than half of the above, you possibly could have already been labelled a 'hippie'. I reckon though, the real hippie days are long gone.
It could be said that a lot of the actions and values I've described above have been influenced by the radical hippie movement of the 60s and 70s - living and working for social change, peace, freedom and the environment - but there have also been many other philosophies, discoveries and ideas that have contributed to this way of thinking and living over the past 40 years too.
Am I a hippie?
I relate to all of the above points, but I don't identify as a hippie (I'm too young). I particularly try to avoid the hippie tag because of the negative connotations that typically come with it - I don't smoke or drink or have never been into drugs. I try to avoid other tags too - it becomes to easy to be parcelled up and dismissed. Tags and labels seem to close people's minds to new possibilities and interesting ideas that are worth exploring.
I know I hold a bit of fear of being labelled a hippie. Considering where I live and what I do, I am an easy target. A recent article about my way of life had the title "Earth Mother, Eco-teacher". I admit I shuddered when I first read the words 'Earth Mother' describing me. It felt like a hippie label, but when I read the article, I realised the title had been given with much respect not condescension. I think in that moment, I let go of some of my fear and I felt encouraged that this way of life is seen as a positive aspiration.
I am not trying to drop out of society. I have my whole life been dropping into living a positive, healthy, community-connected, earth-connected way of life. This feels purposeful to me and brings me a deep sense of joy and meaning. I live in an ecovillage, grow food, teach permaculture, live simply, dress simply, homeschool my kids... Does that make me a hippie? No. I perhaps embrace a number of hippie culture qualities - love, peace, care for the earth, care for people, living simply and ethically - but I'm just me - me in relation to my community and environment.
|I love my work, particularly the Nature Kids and permaculture programs I run for kids and the community.|
|Relaxed and happy - barefoot in the garden spreading compost, mulching and planting.|
Labels are a great way to be boxed, dismissed and/or marketed to - best if possible to be avoided! Be free, be open, live well, love life, connect and make a positive contribution.
Labels: community, community food, eco-house, environment, family, food politics, gift economy, happiness, homeschooling, nature play, parenting, permaculture, reducing waste, simple living, urban agriculture, wellbeing