Hippies—they’re so annoying. Any slacker who thinks that standing outside, holding a cardboard sign changes the world deserves to be arrested. If these patchouli-smelling, black-footed, naïve potheads had their way, we’d self-destruct and be taken over by the Chinese, because these sheltered, anarchist morons don’t understand global politics. Shockingly, there are a few lessons hippies can teach us, if they’d only shut up about veganism and hemp long enough to see who they really are.
1. Your beliefs are important.
If you’ve ever talked to one of those WWE fans on the side of the street with tweets handwritten on cardboard signs, you’ve likely heard some tinfoil conspiracy about aliens and our divine selves taking the world back from the darkness of the Zartan clan. No matter what you’ve personally seen in your life, these sandaled nature-Nazis know the “real truth.”
This gets annoying with a quickness, but it’s also a great way to be. It’s important to stick to your beliefs, because that’s what’s really important in life. People live and die for their beliefs, so stand up for you and your lane.
2. Money isn’t important.
Hippies hate currency, and I viewed money as the root of all evil way before it was cool. Economies are as real as hopes, dreams, and a good-looking male who cooks and cleans. I’ve never seen a dollar in nature, so how important could it really be?
Despite the pyramids, castles, and other monuments you’ve seen, the richest and most powerful humans in history still treasured their own personal lives and experiences over any material possessions. You don’t need to fully switch over to Moonbeam’s communist barter system, but you can pursue more fruitful endeavors than the empty search for money.
3. It’s great to be different.
There’s an old Japanese proverb—the nail that sticks out gets hammered. You’re taught at a very young age to do as you’re told, and hippies hate being told what to do. You’re taught how to walk and talk. You don’t need to be a hippie and completely disregard every instruction just to look cool, but you do need to put your own personality into it.
Rather than tie-dying your clothes and wearing only organic hemp like everyone else around you, do something different. The best adventures are the ones that veer off the beaten path.
4. Sometimes you have to break the rules.
While an Occupy rally isn’t necessary every time someone fails to pay their bills, an occasional U-turn in a no-turn zone is necessary. A California stop at an empty intersection at 3 a.m. is actually better for the environment than obeying the signal, and if you’ve ever been on a road, you know everyone else speeds too.
I’ve broken quite a few laws, but I’ve never committed a crime. The difference is in the justice of the law. Hippies may go entirely too far in their rejection of authority, but disobeying unjust laws is a right every man should have.
5. There’s always another way.
Despite their insistence on being the least competitive people in the possibility of existence, there’s literally nothing you can do that a hippie can’t do better. If you eat a burger, they’re vegetarian. If you’re vegetarian, they’re vegan. If you’re vegan, they’re gluten-free.
Although this passive-aggressive anti-competition is unhealthy and laughably pretentious, it does illustrate that there is always another path. No matter what you’re used to, there’s another way to do things. You may be the best at living the lifestyle you live, but it doesn’t make yours the one true lifestyle.
6. Art is important.
While the U.S. is focused on STEM classes in school (except Texas, where football and cheerleading rules), the arts are important. Sure those dreadlocked sand-people lack rhythm, and the pan flute and bongos aren’t likely to become the next turntable and guitar, they’re right in their pursuit to preserve the arts.
Look around your office, listen to the music in your car—the beauty in how your senses engage with the world isn’t in the math, it’s in the experience. Encourage creative endeavors in your life and those around you.
Hippies have wisdom hidden behind the cloud of patchouli and tie-dye. Their beliefs may be insanely uneducated but at least they stick to them. A hippie may be useless in body, but they understand art, disruption, and the evils of greed. You don’t have to invite them into your home, but you can enjoy getting in touch with your own inner hippie.
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