40 Years Ago Today


This weekend we celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Music festival at Woodstock. For us baby boomers, it was a time to remember and groove on the music that shaped our lives and moved us all these years. Most of us were not there, though it might have seemed that way. I wonder how many of us lied telling friends in later years that we were part of the crowed there. There would have to have a field that held about 10 million if we all lied about that.

Then it was all about peace love and rock ‘n roll. Unfortunately, the ideals were unrealistic then. Once you left Bethel, New York, were the festival took place, one had to face the reality of the world then: Nixon was still president, when the festival was over: the Viet Nam War still raged:  problems in the Middle East: race riots still continued: the country was still on edge.

Today, 40 years later the tensions are still there. Racial profiling: the battle over healthcare reform: two wars in the Middle East: an embattled President, though on the left, rather than on the right: The country is still on edge.

The country does not get better by having a Rock Festival. It takes hard work, a willingness to bend and compromise and reach consensus.  Loving each other takes hard work and foresight. We need to reach out with an open hand, not a fist. To change the world we don’t gather in a field, but walk out in the street do the dirty work of caring for those most in need, elderly or young, mixed race or white, poor or even rich.

It’s nice to remember Woodstock, but the work toward som of it’s ideals is really for all of us to do every day.

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