Soul of the Counterculture

Ted Roszak was 60 when we met in 1995. He was best known for writing “The Making of the Counterculture,” (1969), which recounts the social sea change sparked by the baby boomer generation. But it was his book “Ecopsychology,” that led me to interview him.

Ecopsychology draws the link between our relationship with nature and our mental health.

If being outdoors surrounded by nature reduces stress and improves emotional stability, why not prescribe it?

“Finding our way back to nature may be much more helpful than Prozac or nitpicking through old sibling rivalries,” Roszak told me.

Roszak thought principles of ecopsychology should also be applied to environmental communications: ” I think we’ve probably exhausted the audience who can be recruited by being scared or scolded.”

“I believe that human beings have an innate love and loyalty for the natural world. They need to be treated as if they do. There is real joy to be found in nature, and there is heroism in honoring and preserving it.”

Last year at a San Francisco bookstore, Roszak read aloud from the last of his 20 books, “The Making of an Elder Culture,”(2009). He called upon the baby boomers–particularly women–to wage an elder revolution founded in the vision of the counterculture–a  just, peaceful, and more equal society.

Ted Roszak died last week at age 77.  His friends and family said he was hopeful about the future.

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