Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

“I” is for Imagine a Better World


1960's protest  public domain

An anti Vietman War Demonstration at the Pentagon, October 21, 1967. Photo by Albert R. Simpson, Department of Defense, Public Domain.


“Imagine all the people living life in peace. ..Imagine all the people sharing all the world… I hope one day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”

I was a child of the sixties–the 1960’s. It was a time of protest against wrong,  a time of standing up for what you thought was right! Yes, there were drugs and other vices like at any time, but most of us were idealistic  young people, who truly hoped, and believed we could change the world.

In 1966, I joined a singing group called “Up With People” along with one of my best friends Dee. We were part of a local group called “Sing Out South”.  We put on shows about equality and the importance of ALL people.  Being part of that group helped shape me as a person.  My politically liberal mother was in full support of this group, loved it like I did. My more conservative, judgemental father wasn’t so sure, he thought it might be “communist backed” and might get our family put on one of Hoover’s subversives lists”!  However, he did not forbid me to be in the group, so sing-out and expand my horizons I did!

In the Fall of 1967, I went off to college. I studied, and grew, but I also began to find my voice, my courage, and joined like-minded friends in protest lines! I stood in lines almost exactly like the one above, scared to death I would die that day, as the National Guard stood 3 feet in front of us! Now I realize what a part of history we were. We stood for civil rights, we stood against the Vietnam War, we stood for women’s rights. You might say we were very passive. but of course some weren’t. Marching and protesting have been around forever as ways to express your differences in opinion, often from the government.  The goal is to get a lot of attention, to make others think of different choices, of different ways to act, different laws to make–supposedly in a peaceful manner.

Let me make it clear. We (the people I knew who protested.) were not against the soldiers, some of my best friends and family members were in Vietnam, we were against the killing, the dying…we wanted our family and friends home. We wanted to find a way to live in harmony. Sometimes I think we could use a bit of the sixties here in 2015, seems like things have gone awry big time sometimes.  People do express their unhappiness, not always in a peaceful manner.

Civil rights, the death of racism…it is so hard for me to believe it still exists in 2015, but it does. All you have to do is listen to the political exchanges, watch the news, and it is loud and clear, and not very peaceful either.

I pray one day we can talk to each other, accept each other, support and respect each other. I literally pray for this–seems to me, a good Christian would.

After my death, if  God allows, I will be working for peace and inclusiveness in our world from the other side!  LOL Surely there must be some angels up there who would join with me in moving this earth in a different direction, a more peaceful direction. I want to say, “So watch out you bad guys, I’ll haunt you until you change your ways!” –but that doesn’t seem very peaceful, does it? LOL



Author: Helen Holshouser

Old enough to enjoy life, I am a Red Hatter, grandmother, gardener, and amateur genealogist. I am a retired clinical psychologist, master's level, who is disabled with heart disease, but having fun with family and friends. Married over 40 years, I have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. I have learned that grandchildren provide a joy one never knew existed---writing feeds my soul, gardening is therapy, and genealogy research makes me feel like a detective!

10 thoughts on ““I” is for Imagine a Better World

  1. Helen, you got me! Those clips just made the tears come – like you, I’m an idealist. I’m an idealist who cannot believe that we are *still* not there yet. Can I come and join you in that haunting? I missed the opportunity to protest in the 60s as we were in India and Africa, but I’d be proud to stand by you on the line up there. Wonderful post, just wonderful! Dx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A better world is never too much to hope for! Always something worth fighting for – each in our own way. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Debs, thank you so much! You make my heart sing! I would like nothing more than to stand by you in heaven! I’m looking forward to hearing/reading more about India and Africa! This is fun! Helen


  4. torhylbom, thanks for sharing, and for the acceptance. You are so right, we all work in different ways, and that makes life more interesting!


  5. Helen-what an awesome time to experience. If I had been alive, I would have been protesting too. I can’t stand all the conflict, war, and hate that exists in our world. I’m about as liberal as they come, and I believe everyone should have equal rights. It’s so interesting to hear about your experiences. And I hope you can fight for peace from heaven too!


  6. So are you bragging about how young you are Lauren? LOL Sorry, I really appreciated your comment! It’s very nice to meet another liberal, and just maybe we’ll stand in that protest line together, you, Debs and I. Wonderful!


  7. The 60s remember them well. Was in the army for a while. Lost two cousins in Vietnam. Some friends came home and left parts of their bodies over there. Some friends came home with a full body but lost a part of themselves over there and never found it again. Today we trade and do business with them. They have also become a tourist destination. I am not complaining, but I wonder why we could not do that in the 1960s? So many lives could have been saved.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, wow. I would have loved to stand and protest with you. I wasn’t quite born yet, though. I did do a fair share of protesting of my own. Somehow I believe protesting is a right of passage. I went to DC many times and made my voice heard through protests, demonstrations, and parade. Those events are some of my fondest memories.


  9. Dear Charles, I feel the same as you about Vietnam now! It is crazy! All those young men, the deaths, the maims, the PTSD! I loved a lot of people friends and family who were in the army! It is sad. i am sorry for your losses, And sorry that we have these collective memories. We both know it ties us to our ancestors in other wars! Thank you for sharing my friend.


  10. Dear Scarlet, you are a young’un like Lauren, and my daughters! We need strong women who will let their voices be heard, keep it up! Thank you for sharing. Isn’t it interesting, when we take a risk, and we participate, that it becomes such fond memories. Fondly, H.


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