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Embrace Your Inner Hippie

Modern-day hippies are crawling everywhere in the urban areas.  These hippies are seeking new means for getting back-to-basics.  What does this mean?  In essence, we, as society, are attempting to achieve self-sufficiency in the more basic things in life – whether it be adopting a new, greener mode of transportation, growing and eating local foods, or even pursuing careers that are more fulfilling but less gainful.   All of these practices may have been “normal” things society has done up until the 20th century.  Now that we are well into the 21st century, we have veered from these basics in exchange for better streamlining, efficiency, and the wonderful thriftiness of Wal-Mart.  But people have recently adopted these trendier ways of living – getting back to basics.  The question is, are these new ways of living a fad, or is this the beginning of a new social movement?

The environment is a major concern in today’s society.  More and more people every day are trying to help save the environment and contribute to the green revolution, but how much of this is a trend?  The amount of yuppies shopping at Whole Foods has not gone unnoticed.  Yes, there is a growing concern about toxins and pesticides in our produce and meat, yet with a term precarious as “organic”, it is hard to say how sincere these organic food shoppers really are.  Let’s be honest – the shopping experience at Whole Foods is fun.  With good organization, nice product packaging, friendly hippie staff members, and good lighting, Whole Foods is a place where consumers like to shop.  This theory extends to farmers markets as well.  Are people shopping at farmers markets as an effort to care for the environment or as anti-chain patronization, or because it’s fun to make shopping for a produce a fun summer activity? Whatever reason it may be, farmers markets are becoming the places to be on Saturday and Sunday mornings throughout cities around the US. Is shopping organic at Whole Foods and supporting local farmers an effort to get back-to-basics a turn of a century way of life, or are these things simple trends that will go away after the next cool thing is discovered?

Not only is food shopping a product of the green revolution, but so is finding more green means of transportation.  Of course people bike for health reasons, to get outdoors, and sometimes even for a faster mode of commuting.  However, biking has also become a huge hippie trend.  On any given day, one can see hundreds of these hippies riding road bikes all throughout the city. Are people riding bikes because it’s now cool, or is it really a move to get back-to basics? Most bikers will argue, it is a fun and easy, not to mention free, way of commuting, but it’s debatable whether this trend will last.  Riding your bike as a mode of transportation may be a current trend, but we can hope that this is a lifestyle change in which people have progressed towards.

Not only is the green revolution a new hip thing, but so is the growing popularity for embarking on self-sufficient activities.  People are trying to minimize consumerism and are now trying to brew their own beer, take on anti-chain patronization, and of course, fulfilling more meaningful careers.  Lets focus on the new home brewer. Take a visit to your local home-brew supply store and you will be able to see how popular this growing trend has become. Over the past couple years, sales in some of these supply shops have increased as much as 60-70%.  Home brewers like this popular hobby because of the different design goals, exploring new variations of how beer can be, and the satisfaction of drinking one’s own beer.  Depending on the beer intake, home brewing may even be cost effective.  It’s a hip thing to do right now, but the DIY mentality is not something going away – yet.

This hippie trend of self-sufficiency may even be applied to the career choices of the 21st century generation. People are gaining more appreciation for culture and arts and more students are enrolled in art programs in universities across the country.  In addition, more people are taking on more fulfilling types of jobs, whether it may be teaching or working with individuals with disadvantages.  People seem to be  trying to seek out careers that they care about, instead of careers that make them a nice paycheck.   Is this a trend, or are people finally relying on themselves to appreciate life intrinsically?

Embrace your inner hippie.  It’s okay to brew your own beer, bike to work, and eat excessive amounts of organic food;  in fact, these things are cool.  We can go the extra step to say it’s even cooler to grow your own hops, build your own bike, and practice veganism (well, veganism might be pushing it).  It seems to be that environmental concern and the new wave of self-sufficiency are both evolving with the times.  No matter how trendy biking or shopping organic really is, both of these things create positive outcomes.  If home brewing goes out of style, some new self-sufficient hobby will take its place.  People are seeking out careers in which they find more intrinsically motivating. Of course, we will always have our material driven individuals, but the people pursuing more fulfilling careers is growing at a noticeable rate.  This may be a trend, but it’s dubious to think self-fulfillment is a fad.  But, anyway what is wrong with any of these things being a trend?  Absolutely nothing – let’s hope this is a movement of the times and not just the latest fad of the 21st century.

You can read more from Sonia Lala on her blog.