Marianne Williamson talks ‘political miracles’ ahead of Penn Justice Dems speakers event
Author and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson spoke to The Daily Pennsylvanian about the current state of domestic politics and her upcoming mayoral event on campus next week.
Williamson will discuss how spirituality and love should play a bigger role in politics going forward during a City Hall event on Tuesday, April 19 at 6 p.m. in Houston Hall’s Bodek Lounge. The event is co-sponsored by the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy and Penn Justice Dems.
In addition to having published more than a dozen books, including four New York Times bestsellers, Williamson is a political activist and nonprofit founder and organizer. Her work is to find innovative ways to integrate spirituality into everyday practices and promote compassion in politics.
“What’s wrong with our country today is that too many of our political and economic structures lack integrity, lack ethics, lack compassion and lack mercy,” Williamson told the DP.
In order to prioritize this compassion in people’s daily lives, Williamson said individuals need to practice mindfulness and avoid “downloading the chaos of the world” by using their phones or reading the news as soon as they get up. wake up.
“If you spend even a short period of reflection, prayer, meditation, mindfulness, or yoga, then your nervous system has a chance,” Williamson said. “You are aligning your nervous system with something bigger than the madness that is so rampant in our world today.”
Williamson said she’s always happy to talk with students because they have new perspectives and are more willing to proactively assess traditions — to change the status quo if that’s not the best course of action.
Citing the resurgence of labor movements across the country, Williamson pointed out that the issues Americans facing today share some similarities with the problems the country has faced and overcome before. To better understand this, Williamson encourages students to “read the times in our history when people faced challenges as difficult as ours and prevailed.”
“We had slavery, but we also had abolition. We had the institutional oppression of women, but we also had the women’s suffragette movement. We had segregation, but we also have the civil rights movement,” Williamson said.
Macy Stacher, president of communications for the Penn Justice Dems and a sophomore at the college, said many religious or spiritual students, like him, use their religious beliefs as the basis of their progress. Stacher said the club wanted to bring in Williamson because she “talks about a kind of transformative politics that this unprecedented time is really calling for”.
Tara Yazdan Panah, club outreach president and college senior, echoed Stacher’s sentiments, adding that she thinks Williamson is also an important figure for lay students. She said between the existential desperation associated with climate change and the political desperation associated with the lack of progressive legislative efforts, people need more hope.
“[Williamson] speaks a lot about the need to maintain a collective spirit and solidarity to move the movement forward,” said Yazdan Panah. “She brings a lot of hope and optimism to progressive circles that really need that feeling.
Williamson also said it’s critical that people don’t downplay the magnitude of the problems facing the United States today, but she “believes in political miracles.” She describes these political miracles as the result of “tremendous strength and power that stems from consistent and committed dedication to doing the right thing despite institutional resistance.”
Williamson added that if people are able to unite around their “common principles of love, mercy and democracy” there is hope that real change can happen across the country.” .
“I think the people there are wonderful, loving and smart, and when we can harness all of that, we can change the world. A lot more people love it than hate it,” she said. It’s not an easy time to be alive, in some ways, but it’s nonetheless a time that’s full of opportunities for miracles.”