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What Does Free Thinking Mean Now? Lessons From the Counterculture


“You’re never too old to learn,” people say. And they’re right – I’m currently learning about the art of free-thinking from the hippie counterculture. It’s been an interesting (and somewhat eye-opening) experience, to say the least. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far…

by David Stone

The allure of “free love” and sexual liberation

The free love movement of the 1960s has always presented itself as something radical- a volte-face against the standard conventions of society. Free thinking was a way to spread love and do away with outdated notions of propriety.

But it’s probably more of an excuse for people to do whatever they want without anyone getting mad at them. Who doesn’t like free love?


After all, it would be bad form to declare “I’m going to have free…transactions.” But free love– who could deny that?

Let’s face it: when it comes down to it, free love is really just…free!

The importance of free thinking and expression

Personal freedom and expression are among the most important things in life. After all, freedom is a top necessity to enjoy life to its fullest.

For instance, without freedom of speech, we’d be living in a land of mimes. What kind of world would that be?

Fortunately, we have the freedom to express ourselves through words, ideas, art and more. This allows us to create meaningful relationships, grow our understanding of the world around us and develop our skills.

Above all else, however, freedom is key for cultivating true joy and happiness, and that’s well worth freedom fighting for.

The dangers of blindly following authority figures

We live in a world in which obedience and conformity to authority figures are expected and even celebrated.

But, if we’ve learned anything from storybooks and movies, it’s that sometimes blindly following along isn’t the wisest move. Think of the tales of Oedipus or Don Quixote.

In real life, too, the dangers of putting your faith in one individual can be great—from both an emotional and physical perspective.

So next time Donald Trump asks you to virtually jump off a bridge to prove loyalty, just laugh it off. And know that it’s sometimes better to just trust your own gut.


The power of community and working together toward common goals

Working together towards common goals can be an absolute force to be reckoned with. But success requires free thinking, not groupthink.

Whether it’s getting a particularly tough job done in half the time or just pitching in wherever you can, the power of community and collaboration is undeniable.

Sometimes it may not always look like it’s going so well at first – but when things start coming together and people start seeing their commitment pay off, it’s pretty magical.

In the end, even if your efforts don’t take you to that fabled X-marks-the-spot destination you were hoping for, at least there was fun on the way (and free snacks!) which makes any venture worth the effort!

The need for open-mindedness and tolerance

Being open-minded and tolerant is a lot like being open to a new food: you need to give it a chance before writing it off as something that isn’t for you.

Sure, maybe it’s not something you would’ve chosen now, but sometimes when we open ourselves up to new experiences, we learn that the unexpected can be surprisingly delicious.

Imagine if everyone viewed open-mindedness, free thinking and tolerance in the same way.

We’d all be surprised at how much we can learn from each other when we aren’t so quick to write others off without first giving them a chance.

The beauty of nature and the simple life

Nature is truly a captivating force that often leaves us in awe of its beauty, although it doesn’t hurt to have some laughs along the way.

This can be easily done when appreciating nature’s simple life as a change from our own: no rush hour, no meeting deadlines, just living and enjoying each day as it comes with nature.

Nature offers us valuable moments of tranquility and relaxation, and one thing we can learn from nature is its resilience in withstanding the challenges of change.

We appreciate nature’s beauty through watching colorful sunsets and meandering streams, but we should also take a pause to give thanks for how nature gives us the chance to live a simpler life. After all, nature shows us that sometimes humor can be part of simplifying life as well.

And so, my friends, we come to the end of another blog post. I hope that you have all taken something away from this discussion on free thinking encouraged by the hippie counterculture.

Always question authority figures, be tolerant of others’ beliefs, work together towards common goals, and enjoy the simple things in life.

Until next time, stay safe out there and keep those open minds firmly in place!

The hippie novels…

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