Why Woodstock Was Important

As Michael Lang, one of the founder’s of Woodstock said in his book The Road To Woodstock…

“For me, Woodstock was a test of whether people of our generation really believed in one another and the world we were struggling to create. How would we do when we were in charge? Could we live as the peaceful community we envisioned? I’d hoped we could.”

Now that may sound a bit overblown but I think each of us who attended Woodstock were searching for something. Yes, many of us called ourselves “hippies” or “freaks” but deep down all we wanted was to be different than our parents. We looked at them and the world they had created and, rightly or wrongly, we didn’t like what we saw. We REALLY wanted to do better.

We saw in our parent’s world an overwhelming materialism that put the focus on things that weren’t important to us… and didn’t really work for them.

They had put the whole world at risk with their violent views of the “enemy” who at that time was the Russians. But to us as the “boomer” generation we hoped and believed there had to be a better way. Maybe we were just being naive but we had to try and find a new approach.

That’s why the hippie message of love and peace and kindness appealed to us. Sure many of the so called freaks were just acting out a role that they didn’t really feel. But others truly believed in the message and tried to make those values of peace, love, and kindness real.

And yes drugs did play a part. Pot and particularly LSD had shown us another view of reality, another state of mind.  Our minds had truly been opened up. And part of the appeal of that new state of mind was it was soooo different than the reality we saw around us. It showed us that life was much more than rushing to work, buying stuff, drinking alcohol and going to church on Sunday. In fact, drugs main impact was it showed us that you could be blissfully happy without any of what our parents thought was important.

Woodstock was important to so many of us because it helped us see that we weren’t alone in our feelings. When we saw the crowd and felt the sharing and kindness that was all around us, we knew we were on to something. It was real. There really was hope. The importance of Woodstock was it convinced us that maybe we could do it. We could live a life that was nothing like our parent’s.

The question was, could we really change the world? For that one brief weekend Woodstock convinced us that anything was possible and we knew we could.


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