If you’re waiting for a sign, here it is!

Remember the Summer of Love? Okay, probably not, seeing how most of us weren’t born yet. Do you remember hearing our parents wax nostalgic about the Summer of Love? From Wikipedia:

The Summer of Love refers to the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of  San Francisco, creating a phenomenon of cultural and political rebellion. [It] was the center of the hippie revolution, a melting pot of music, psychoactive drugs, sexual freedom, creative expression, and politics. The Summer of Love became a defining moment of the 1960s, as the hippie counterculture movement came into public awareness.

Let’s declare 2009: the Summer of Hope! Let’s make this summer a defining moment. Whatever you have been thinking about, DO IT. For me, it was the tat. The outward symbol that EVERYTHING is different now, I am different now. The time for deliberation and questioning is over. I know what needs to be done and I’m taking names and kicking ass. Everything is being re-evaluated and frankly, I ain’t bullshittin’ on front street no more.

Post tat.

Post tat.

And while I don’t really think we need to focus on the psychoactive drugs or sexual freedom so much this time around (that door is still WIDE open) we definitely could use a renaissance of MUSIC, CREATIVE EXPRESSION, AND POLITICS.

This is our revolution ya’ll

The baby boomers are proud of the sixties, it was an amazing time. But the boomers still believe their ways are the only ways. The boomers used what they had: sheer power in numbers. When they all assembled, it was a force to be reckoned with. It was a grand show of strength and solidarity. They “broke” through barriers, sought to “destroy” the system. That’s what those gray haired ponytails are picturing when they get that faraway look in their eye.

That’s not our model. This is a thinking person’s revolution, things get done behind the scenes. That’s why I call it a Wu wei Revolution, it looks like nothing is happening, but things get done. We don’t get groups of people together to protest racism, we work behind the scenes. I combat racism by seeking out multicultural environments and having my kids surrounded by people who look nothing like them. I treat all people as my equal while acknowledging that we are not the same or even all that similar sometimes. I worked to get Obama, the best person for the job, elected despite the fact that they said it couldn’t be done. Screw the sit-ins and grand gestures, we are working smarter, not harder. Or as my homeboys, the Visionaries, put it: Precise strikes instead of random hits.

Not now, but RIGHT NOW

So I proclaim 09 the Summer of Hope. You don’t have to descend on San Francisco, Seattle or any other city. Start a revolution in your community, your neighborhood or even your own living room. Find a creative way to express your discontent and resolve to be a part of the solution. Start by creating the world you want to live in, become an ambassador of kindness and compassion. Lend a hand to a someone in need. Begin to reconnect with your surroundings, get to know your neighbors and the people that work at the stores you frequent. Show them that the times, they are a changin’.

We are at breaking point. Our communities are withering on the vine, starved by neglect and apathy. You know what needs to be done, DO IT. As my current obsession K’naan says: It’s better to light a candle than to curse the dark. We’ve been so preoccupied with all the wrong things: consumerism, celebrity, anti-intellectualism, and our own complete self-absorption. No more. That’s not the world I want to live in and neither do you. So come on, whatever sign you have been waiting for, here it is:

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