SUBJECT TO CHANGE
The “Sixties’, a CNN documentary about a decade that saw so many social upheavals and changes in the way America thinks about things, leaves out one very important reason why this era became so famous for change. Why the world, not just the United States, changed its thinking so dramatically. As Gloria Steinem said, “This is not about reform. It’s about revolution.
But what so many leave out from the discussion is that the use of marijuana, which altered people’s state of consciousness, was directly responsible for much of the way young people (baby boomers) viewed the world around them. The fact that people thought that some jobs were for men only seemed ridiculous to someone who’d smoked a joint. The way people dressed, unspoken social prohibitions, unquestioned status symbols, all fell from their pedestals as young people saw the foolishness behind such institutions.
There were no women CEO’s unless it was a one woman company with a few eager employees. More women used typewriters than any other time in our history. There were no male flight attendants or male telephone operators answering for directory assistance. People looked askance at any man who wanted to be a telephone switchboard operator. In fact, doing that job was considered demeaning to the man’s innate masculinity. Consequently, any woman who was hefting two by fours at a construction site was as rare as seeing a T-Rex walk down Fifth Avenue.
Slowly things changed as our perceptions were altered, not by seed pods from outer space but by plants growing here on earth. The arts became lively, experimental, and music stepped out of the tired shadows of normality into the burning guitars of Pete Townsend and Jimi Hendrix.
Only one third of the people alive during that decade were responsible for the changes that endure today. To millennials, women plumbers and carpenters and CEO’s are the norm but to an older generation, all these realities seem very sudden and were at one time certainly unexpected.
It’s said that nothing happens without the universe making it happen. We didn’t have the keys to all these changes, but we did have marijuana and the universe made it possible to use that substance to initiate new ways of seeing realities. We live in an intelligent universe. That doesn’t mean there’s a God but there is an intellect which we’re directly connected to. The moon is as bright as we are, especially once the skies clear up and we see things as they really are.