Living in the Past: In my mind’s eye I can still see him. He had long, uncombed hair that almost touched his shoulders. He had thick dark framed glasses which stood out against his haystack of hair. He was wearing a plaid shirt, faded blue jeans and no shoes. After he sat down, he put his dirty feet up on the table for everyone to see.
The year was 1963 and I was viewing my first Hippie. He didn’t seem the least bit interested in his appearance. I was relieved he had not chosen to sit next to me because I imagined he probably had quite a ripe odor emanating from an unwashed body.
This was the beginning of the clash of traditional college values of cleanliness and fashion against revolution that rocked the 1960’s. At first, I was shocked and unable to understand or sympathize with the hippie movement.
Later, my views softened a bit as I sympathized with the anti-Vietnam war sentiments spread over so many college campuses. Eventually I let my hair grow a bit and added sideburns.
Over the years I have seen other fashion trends explode with young people and in some instances disappear almost as rapidly as they arrived. Trends seem to come and go. What is more important, and this topic actually came up in college, is that we (I) learn to get past outward trends and look for and relate to the inner person.
I am still working on it with so many people wearing tattoos and/or showing body piercings these days. And I wish the young men would buy pants that stayed up and young girls covered their midsections. Regardless of how I am put off by someone’s appearance, I believe along with everyone else, we all have the intelligence and personal virtues to discover the human soul residing beneath. The good news is that eventually functionality overtakes fad.