Kurt Andersen (“The Downside of Liberty,” New York Times.com, 7/4/12) writes that because of the “do your own thing” ethos of the 1960’s, “we are all shamelessly selfish.”
Anderson misreads the character and is insensitive to the spirit of those times, which my friends and I, and millions of other young people, lived through and were touched by. Doing our own thing was for most of us a quest for authenticity spurred by generous hopes for all and fulfilled in communal action.
In the Civil Rights and anti-war movements, and later, in service projects and communal efforts, many of us have tried, however imperfectly, to understand and respect one another and to work for the common good.
Kurt Andersen had his “epiphany” about the 60’s at a “Writers Festival” at Woodstock. My friends and I were at Woodstock enjoying the music and celebrating our freedom, but also feeding and caring for one another.
Here are the letters the New York Times did publish.