A few weeks ago, my husband accompanied me on a work trip to California in an attempt to find a few days of vacation (that was an epic failure, but I digress…). My husband works in technology, and as a result of his connections, we were able to participate in a personal tour of Google’s campus in Silicon Valley. For those of you who have seen the Vince Vaughn movie, “The Internship,” there were many similarities—but it was completely surreal to be there in person.
I would venture to guess that 99.9 percent of Google’s workforce is made up of Millennials—the generation born between 1977 and 1999. The generation marketed to by the likes of Chipotle and the generation we at the Animal Agriculture Alliance dedicated our entire Stakeholders Summit to this past May.
The day before we visited Google, the “hubs” (short for husband) and I were scouting cheap Alcatraz tickets (I do work for a non-profit, after all) and the best deal we found came as a bundle package which included a two-hour ride on the Magic Bus. The Magic Bus tour was meant to transport you back to the 1960s – a time of flower power, rock and roll, hippies, psychedelic, hallucinogenic drugs and the Summer of Love.
As San Francisco was arguably the birthplace of the hippie movement—we decided to give the Magic Bus a shot. As our tour began amid a background of blaring Janice Joplin, our flower-child guide, named Mother Gaia, provided us some background on how the children of the 60s came to flock to San Francisco for the Summer of Love.
While it would be easy to say that hippies in the 60s just wanted to shirk responsibility and avoid the draft (a sentiment, I should note, that was shared by a passerby who shouted at the Magic Bus “Get a job you hippie,” to which Gaia responded: “This is my job!”), more likely, the children of the 60s were just trying to find their place in life, wanted to make an impact and had reservations about the direction of the United States, and the world—politically and otherwise.
The 60s were a time plagued by financial instability, political upheaval and traumatic events. It was a time where according to Gaia, the “rich got richer, while the poor got poorer,” where a generation watched both President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. get shot and where young men received their draft notifications to enter a war that many Americans didn’t support.
Hopping off the Magic Bus, my husband and I were both struck by the similarities between the flower children of the 60s and our generation: millennials (and trust me, we didn’t take anything while aboard the bus!).
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