In terms that are current to our times, many of my peers were “woke.” Like now, you could be “woke” to one group and un-cool to another that considered themselves to be “woke.” Being that it’s a mental state of cultural and political awareness, you can harbor pockets of very un-woken thought and behavior. Then, as well as now, the most transcendentally aware of the “woken” ones will deny this. Perfection is a hard act. But denial is a human trait that is hard to eradicate.

Back then – the 1960s through ’70’s -being politically and socially “woke” in one sense did not necessarily mean that you were enlightened in others. Probably the best-known example of this for Beats, Folkies, and Hippies I knew was un-woke behavior towards women. It didn’t seem to sink in that being active in the Civil Rights movement while treating your spouse as a domestic slave was hypocrisy. Even when that person self-emancipated and left you, the behavior continued. “Hey, sweetie, get us some more beer!”

Then, as now, it was easier to declare that anyone not as apparently “woke” as you couldn’t have valuable perspectives. As a species, we seem to reinvent the cure to universal ills generationally. Just too easy, I say.

It may be as Ecclesiastes states that: 

What has been will be again,

 what has been done will be done again;

 there is nothing new under the sun.


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