From Flower Child to Radical Revolutionary – Phil Polizatto
The easiest way to turn peace loving flower-child hippies into radical revolutionaries is to mess with their values and disrespect those things that are more important to them than becoming rich. We peacefully protest and carry signs in hopes of bringing about systemic changes that are fair to everyone. We are patriots who see that our nation is in need of us. But sometimes I find it difficult to exude the peace and love that is expected of hippies. Especially when I am greeted, or rather threatened, by a human chain link fence of Darth Vaders, armed to the teeth.
Sometimes I find myself full of hate. I find myself in a “get even” mood. I admit this is not very hippie of me. These kinds of emotions take a physical toll. I pay a heavy price for having them. I don’t know which is worse: the emotion of hate or the emotion that drives one toward vengeance. I know that when I am in a hateful mood, I feel sick, I can’t sleep, and I can’t turn off my mind. I put out all this negative energy even when I feel the hate is justified… that I’ve been used, that I’ve been taken advantage of, that I’ve not been allowed to lead the life that I foresaw myself living. And it’s due to theAmericaI live in… an America whose every aspect of life… health care, politics, environment, education and economics… are all controlled by corporations whose only goal is to maximize their profits at the expense of everything that would make our lives happier and healthier. The corporate tentacles thread their way into every part of our lives. From the wars to which we deploy our young men and women, to the food we eat, to the most intimate parts of our sexual and reproductive lives. And I protest this invasion of corporatocracy into what used to be a democracy.
I protest and am greeted by swat teams and riot-geared police who do not realize they are but pawns of the plutocracy. And when I am pushed around or sprayed with mace, I feel hate. I keep saying I must be a peaceful protester. I must never go down that dark road of hate. And oh how I admire the people who can maintain their cool in the face of such disgraceful behavior on the part of those who are to protect and serve us, the people… not corporations!
The recourse I jump to is one of vengeance and getting even and my mind begins to plot. Maybe it starts off with “I’ll just very inconspicuously key that patrol car” and I envision myself, keys in hand, scraping the entire length of the vehicle. Ah, but that is hardly getting even. They’ll just use my tax dollars to fix the scratches. So before I know it my mind escalates the vengeance by imagining myself throwing a rock or overturning a barricade. Soon I am kicking a cop in the caboose, throttling his throat, jack hammering his jaw, shooting him in the shin,.…. oh, what horrible, unhealthy thoughts… and then I go to bed at night and my mind runs through scenarios of the perfect vendetta against those who would harm me or my brothers and sisters. But it’s not worth it to harbor such thoughts, let alone act upon them. It’s unhealthy. It’s just not worth it. And it can drive you insane. Besides, hate and violence are cyclical and before long, it will come around and bite your ass… or worse. You have to be kind, you have to be gentle, you have to be peaceful!
Oh, what hard work that is. To remain cool and calm, peaceful and loving, in the face of those who think they have the authority to maim you, detain you, jail you, humiliate you. I think it is much more difficult to be peaceful than to be hateful. I try my best to be peaceful, but as I get older, my patience wears thinner.
I subscribe to no organized religion, but I do subscribe to truth and to those that teach the truth, like Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King. All the great teachers taught the truth of peace and love. Truth seems to be something you know instinctively, like the A string of a guitar that vibrates in perfect resonance with the tuning fork. Truth vibrates in perfect resonance with one’s heart and soul. And when you resonate you know you are in the presence of truth. There are so many evil and sickening emotions. Hate, jealousy, envy, greed. There are so many good and healthy emotions. Empathy, kindness, generosity, joy. But probably the healthiest and most powerful emotion is that of love. I know that the people who would deprive others of a healthy, happy and hopeful life have not yet learned this truth or heard the message of love. If they have, they are ignoring its power to cure the country of all that ails it. I know it sounds trite, but truly, love IS all you need.
The thing is, I have said this in so many ways in so many places in so many articles and in so many videos, that I feel I am saying words just one step ahead of tedium. I am having a conversation with no one who is listening, though the subject of the conversation is simply about having common sense. And I feel dislike rising in my heart when no one shows that common sense. It raises my blood pressure until the dislike becomes hate and it feeds upon itself and escalates into even worse emotions that have terrible consequences and I yell out loud to myself… “You have to be kind, you have to be gentle, you have to be peaceful.” (While I grit my teeth.)
Phew… thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I’m sorry if I put a chill on your chi. I feel much better now. It’s going to be OK brothers and sisters. It’s going to be OK. Now I am going outside to scatter rose petals on the street as I make my way to the Occupy Chase Bank demonstration. Namaste, my unapologetic hippies. And learn how to love that pepper spray!
The Unapologetic Hippie