Living in San Francisco during the 60's put me into a special class of people that were out to change the opinions of those boring fundamentalists of our parent's generation.Most of my friends eschewed the wealth and outward appearances that seemed selfish, rigid and cold.We seemingly sought a more communal spirit that has carried the sixties philosophy through to the present day.Love, Peace, and Happiness had to come before Sex, Drugs and Rock n'Roll
One would suppose that there was a generosity of spirit that permeated our culture in radically new ways, thanks not in part to the frustration brought about because of the Vietnam war, the closed-minded arrogance of certain politicians and a fragmented, resistant government as it still exists today.
A close friend of mine at the time called all this progressiveness, "Responsible Hedonism".Today I would call that a cop-out.The idea of moving west and leaving your reputation behind to join the liberal left brought many an asshole to the west coast, particularly Northern California.
By most accounts, our first world problems prevent many from appreciating the suffering and misfortune of those in other areas of the world. Our personal suffering still flourishes though, every time we were stuck in traffic behind an ostentatious driver who moves at a pace just slow enough to piss you off.What I realize today, is that the haves and the have-nots are occupying the same roads, breathing the same polluted air and that we still have to exercise a generosity of spirit that is the hallmark of a functional albeit progressive society.