Well, it comes as no surprise to any of us, that 2019 has been a year filled with so many things. While there has been stress and conflict - over so many issues and causes, one thing to notice is how many hippies are standing up, to be a voice for others and improve circumstances. Whether for one specific cause, a part of the U.S.A. or different part of the world, people who for so long have felt voiceless, animals who have no actual human voice, or the environment which affects our entire planet.
It can in some ways be humbling to read about many of these people, to think about what they have done - and at first you think "well, of course, so many people notice them, they have a voice - that's how they can get things done." But remember at one point they started small. They began with just 1 idea and tried something small. Then that hippie did just a little more and even more. Which became something greater.
Even if you never see your name on a list of people who make a difference, know that you too - can make a great difference. You can help the planet, hungry people, affordable housing, the economy, animals or any other cause that touches your heart. Sometimes all you have to do is start.
Did you notice that Greta Thunberg is TIME Magazine's Person of the Year for 2019? She is also one of their Most Influential People for 2019.
At 16 years old, Greta has become a well-spoken voice in the fight to protect us from climate change. She is holding adults' feet to the fire, telling them to wake up and to do something - before it is too late.
When she first held a protest, she did so after school and by herself. The following year, every single classmate joined her. This current year of 2019, school children in multiple countries across major cities left their schools for the day, to protest climate change, and urge the adults in charge to act and improve the situation before it is too late.
Once Greta Thunberg started her protests this year, Jane Fonda began to show up and do a protest every Friday. Every single Friday, she was arrested.
Not only was she arrested, but she also encouraged her fellow actors and friends to join her in protesting and they were arrested too.
Jane Fonda was generous with both her praise & credit, saying that she was 110% inspired by Greta Thunberg and decided that she needed to act too. Some may not realize that when Jane Fonda was in her 20's she was as well-known as an activist as she was for being an actor. Some of the things she did were considered a bit controversial, but she did not shy away from being a voice for people who did not have one.
When Jane Goodall was in her mid-20's, she went to Africa to study the chimpanzees. Her work is world renowned and opened our eyes to understanding these magnificent creatures, as well and developing an even deeper understanding and compassion for animals overall.
Today in her mid-80's, Ms. Goodall is encouraging young people to act regarding climate change. While some at her age might spend their time relaxing and simply enjoying their days, she is dedicated to helping improve the planet - by urging young people to get involved.
Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez - Ms. Ocasio - Cortez is a recently elected American politician and also is an activist. If you took a first glance at her, wearing a serious business suit, most likely you would not consider her a Hippie. But we would like to add her to this list - because she has the Hippie mindset of fighting for others who are vulnerable, and she does not back down from a tough fight.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic party and serves as the U.S. Representative for New York's 14th Congressional district. She won her election, against someone who had held the position for a long time.
She advocates for a Green New Deal, which will help the environment tremendously. She also wants all colleges and trade schools to be free for students. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez would like a 70% marginal tax rate on incomes above $10 million.
Emma Watson - a British actor who is well known for appearing in the Harry Potter movies, has done so much work to help women and to be an advocate and voice for women.
Ms. Watson was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill ambassador and also helped to launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, this encourages all genders to work towards equality.
Most recently Ms. Watson created a free legal advice telephone hotline, for people who have experienced sexual harassment at work. The legal advice is given through Rights of Women. Ms. Watson started this hotline in the summer of 2019 and was inspired by the MeToo movement.
Gloria Steinem - Ms. Steinem has had a lifelong career as a voice and advocate for women's rights. She created & founded Ms. magazine, which focuses on feminist topics both nationally and internationally. Ms. Steinem is considered part of the first wave of feminism.
She has discussed how ageism affects women, and that we should be proud to celebrate our birthdays at any age. Just the way a child will say they are "six and a half" and what this means to them, a woman should be able to say they are "fifty and a half" and have it mean something to them, and be able to celebrate it as well.
YOU! - Don't be surprised to see yourself on this list! We know there are things that you do to help others. Perhaps you have spoken up, for someone who was afraid to say something. Or you have marched or volunteered for causes that mean something to you. Whatever you have been doing, YOU are a Hippie who helps & that matters, each and every day - so keep doing it!
Here's to a terrific 2019 & looking forward to an even better 2020!