Happening in Kansas City
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Younger readers surely have heard about what older readers remember: Forty years ago this summer, the hippie movement flowered and anxiety spread about a new ?counterculture.? It was the Summer of Love.
Nobody could figure out exactly what was going on except that there was unrest ? rejection of commercialism and protest about segregation, the subjugation of women and the Vietnam War. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out controversially against that military folly.
The Beatles first performed ?All You Need Is Love? that year and released Sgt. Pepper?s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The era proclaimed sexual liberation. ?Gay Power? was one of that year?s most visible slogans.
That spring?s radio hymn told us, ?If you?re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.? The hippies became a ?tribe,? not by birth, but by separating themselves from a society of shallowness, fakery and violence.
I was in divinity school and decided that I needed to understand what was sacred to this ?tribe? of hippies in order to complete the chapter on spiritual communities in my doctoral dissertation. I went to San Francisco?s Haight-Ashbury. I heard Allen Ginsberg lead a chant and recite a poem in Golden Gate Park. I read everything I could find.
I found out that what was sacred to hippies was love, community, peace and honoring the planet. ?Doing your own thing? was not a selfish activity but a vocation, a gift to the community. Sex was a spiritual adventure, and the idea that it was for producing babies rather than for pleasure was seen as part of the industrial model of productivity, rather than the spiritual sense of divine play.
A 45-page excerpt from my dissertation was published in a professional journal in 1969 as ?God Is Doing His Thing: The Hippie Heresy and Liberalism.? In it I argued that the hippie phenomenon could be an antidote to the authoritarian society.
But consumerism, homophobia and war continue.
What happened? Did the hippies bequeath us anything more than hairstyles? Let me answer with a question: Can anything sacred be popularized in our secularistic culture without its corruption?
Although San Francisco gave birth to the flower children, New York gave birth to the first rock musical, Hair, which, when it went to Broadway, made hippies tolerable and entertaining, if not respectable and safe.
What happened to Hair is a metaphor for what happened to my hope.
I saw one of the 45 performances of Hair in 1967 at the Cheetah in New York before the show moved to Broadway. I was surprised and shaken, almost as if I had encountered a transcendent messenger from God. The play was raw in the sense of being absolutely honest. It portrayed a spiritual power in epic struggle against oppression. In its tribe I saw a model of what religious communities could be.
The play seemed to express that era?s alternate-culture challenge to the dominant culture because the hippie movement, in word, in song and in deed, rejected a culture bent on economic gain to the neglect of spiritual concerns. It chastised a nation more enchanted with technology than personhood. It eschewed a society too scheduled to enjoy the moment and pursued war instead of peace.
When I saw the Broadway production of Hair, I was shocked and angry. Here?s a simple example of the changes I saw. The original was full of sexual energy but had no nude scene. The Broadway version used nudity to titillate, rather than to validate. The pure tribal message of spiritual duty and delight was commercialized into selfish indulgence.
These 40 years later, I worry about the larger culture by which the hippie vision has been trivialized. And I worry that the special spiritual wisdom that we in the LGBT community have gained from the painful experience of exclusion is being submerged by the perverse values of the larger culture. In seeking the acceptance we deserve, we must rise above the selfishness around us. We proclaim our complete humanity when we share and seek to relieve the suffering of others here and everywhere.
The Rev. Vern Barnet, DMn., does consulting, teaching and writing for religious and educational organizations here. His Kansas City Star column appears each Wednesday.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at firstname.lastname@example.org.