Then the world turned upside down - three assassinations: President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The streets that had been filled with flower children became angry with lost dreams.
It’s been 50 years since the tumultuous Sixties, and we are again facing a pivotal cultural shift.
The sexual abuse of children is now center-stage through the trial of Michigan State physician Larry Nassar. Sexual harassment is in the spotlight because of the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. The government of the United States as a federal republic is under scrutiny because of various election machinations. The streets are again angry with lost dreams.
When I was in my twenties, I reached a point at which I stopped hoping. I had seen too much, felt even more. For years, I ignored Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley; I didn’t trust what they had to say. As a student of psychology and an eventual counselor, I worked at interior transformation, doing a lot of soul searching. There were mountains to climb, rivers to cross and oceans to maneuver. I was not well-equipped to do any of these, but I learned.
Unlike the Sixties, I’m surprisingly hopeful about the current cultural shift. As icons of Hollywood, academia and politics fall, truth is searing our complacency. It is returning people to their hearts, to the only place of real strength.
It takes great love to reach across divides and offer a hand, it takes vulnerability to risk trust, and it takes hard earned self-respect to stand tall for truth. All of this is present now in its magnificence, even while the opposite rears its ugly head.
2018 will likely be turbulent as there is too much at stake. But if we can show up in our innocence, in our truth and with our hearts open, I believe the year will be like none other, for we will be standing together building bridges of authenticity.