Sorry for the swearing, but I was at an exhibition of activist art from the 1960s and I saw this poster. I believe the boy in the picture is burning his draft card.
What struck me is the fact that this boy doesn't look like a hippie or an activist or anyone at all who would get involved in politics or cultural change (what does such a person look like?).
He just look like a normal guy, but a normal guy who has decided he doesn't like what's going on.
We often wonder what it was about the 1960s that produced so much successful and widespread activism. We want to figure it out so that we can engender the same thing today.
So I was thinking: What would get such a normal looking boy involved in the anti-war movement? Probably the fact that the only other alternative was that he would have to go to war and get his ass shot off.
Back then, I'm not so sure people worried themselves with questions about whether they could make a difference or whether their protests amounted to anything.
Boys like this had no such luxury. Maybe the reason the 60s activism was so alive and well was because people felt their lives were at stake. Their backs were against the wall.
I don't get the sense that most people feel that about the crisis in the habitat that we depend upon for our health, happiness and security. People don't feel as though their backs are against the wall.
What would it take to get them to feel as thought their backs were against the wall?
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.