There is a religious folksong I learned in church when I was young. The chorus went, “The spirit is a-movin’ all over, all over this land.” It was a perfect accompaniment to the changes taking place in America during the Sixties: the Viet Nam War and its protests, women’s liberation, the civil rights movement, and the explosion of rock and roll music.
The Sixties in the U.S. is a tough act to follow. The stage stretched from coast to coast, and the drama was intense, with many subplots. Given all of the fanfare it is easy to miss the fact that the spirit of God is still moving all over this land. It’s just that it’s off the big stage and down in the trenches now.
The visions of a generation clamoring for love and peace remain largely unfulfilled. And more hippies have become servants of the establishment than most would care to admit. Social movements can be exciting, but they tend to draw people that are more interested in rebelling and protesting rather than actually changing. Real and lasting change comes primarily from within. It takes place when the government you overturn is the government of a constricting ego, and the democracy you achieve is the one that gives voice to your soul.
The spirit is still moving all over this land, and it wants to move in your life. It may not have the drama and audience of the Sixties; its path is more humble, grounded, and personal now. The spirit moved powerfully through Dr. King’s dream, but it now moves just as strongly through yours. It moves through your struggles, your relationships, and your private acts of courage. The dream of the Sixties is not dead; the battle for peace and love is still in its infancy. If you want to be a part of it, and help it grow, you must fight for it as an individual by bringing love and consciousness to your own life and soul.