Give Peace a Chance

Kara Willingham

Orange County has become notorious for its stylish and lavish reputation through reality TV shows as well as the hit drama the O.C.. Also known as a conservative city, many do not notice the growth of the re-incarnated culture of a group called the hippies. Well known for fashion, drugs, music festivals and a revolution in the past, the newest generation is not as extreme, yet still opinionated, spiritual and all about love.

Students at Saddleback College can be seen in the fashions of the sixties as well as listening to psychedelic music that was performed at Woodstock.

Some feel as though they were born in the wrong decadewhile others sense the need for loving, caringindividuals in today’s society.

Fascination with a colorful time in American historyhas given birth to a group of students that arenot traditional hippies, but tend to have similar beliefsand feelings on politics, love and freethinking.

The peace signs and message t-shirts act as a visual reminder to society, where as the heart and soul are protests, meditative journeys, radical freethinking and learning to love and live as one unit with the surrounding people.

Although times have changed drastically, the need for peace in the United States has become an issue since American troops were sent overseas. Today’s youth has begun searching for meaning as well as rebelling against a war that is unjust in some Saddleback student’s eyes, causing history to repeat itself once more. Each self-proclaimed hippie has their own beliefs and reasons as to why this lifestyle is right for them. Cara Zawacki, 20, nursing said that there is no reason for war between people and cultures.

“I think everyone should be on the same page,” she said. “Alot of people have a negative connotation with hippies.”

Zawacki would have liked to be around during the summer oflove and groove to the music at Woodstock.

“If I could see any band at Woodstock it would be Jimi Hendrixor the Grateful Dead,” she said. “Music can bring peopletogether…music is an outlet as well a connection.”

The music of the sixties has had a huge impacton Zawacki’s life and the way she viewsthe world.

For Jenna Green, 23, psychology the spiritualside is her calling. A massage therapist,reiki and high resonance practitioner Green iswell connected with her spiritual side. Overthe years she has used energy work to findmeaning as well as help others.

Although she does not look like societiesstereotypical hippie, Green practices the useof good energy in her life.

“I no longer focus on what I don’t want tohappen,” Green said. “I don’t get angry andtry to fight what is happening I just hold apicture in my mind of peace.”

Adam Darmal, 24, undecided does not believein labeling himself as a hippie.

“A hippie is someone who doesn’t necessarilygo against the grain of society but somebodywho remains true to themselves theirheart and their love,” Darmal said.” Peace issomething that I think the entire world isaware we need.”

Darmal practices non-violence yet believesthat war is necessary at times.”If it wasn’t for war there wouldn’t be thelove there,” he said. “I think it has a humblingeffect on the world.”

Nora Geldin, 19, history, considers herselfliberal socially but economically conservative.”Being a hippie means something differentin Orange County,” she said. “I guess to beone you just have to care.”

Geldin occasionally receives strange looksfrom people in reaction to her appearance.”I have long curly hair and I rarely wear make-up, people assume I don’t care aboutmy appearance,” Geldin said. “It’s not that Idon’t care I just don’t want to look like everyother person in Orange County. I do whatmakes me comfortable and I feel that the wayI look without all the extra processed stuff isenough. I don’t want anyone to like me forjust how I look.”

A peaceful, spiritual way of life is the waysome students choose to live despite the limitationssociety places on them.