Speaking to a predominantly female audience Thursday night at Cemex Auditorium, best-selling author Marianne Williamson proposed that the only way society can change its course from inevitable doom is to employ love as an agent of social transformation.
Williamson, a founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass-roots organization that led a campaign for the U.S. Congress to establish a Department of Peace, directly addressed the common rejection of spiritual values in modern society by offering a historically grounded argument revolving around figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.
“Many may say that this love stuff is naive,” Williamson said. “What I’m here to propose to you tonight is that anybody who thinks that any kind of traditional political and social activism at this point in our history, devoid of a spiritual love component, is enough to turn this titanic around — they’re naive.”
Williamson urged humanity to follow the examples of spiritual figures such as Buddha, Moses and Jesus. She said that all people must perceive the ongoing human suffering in our world today and use love to act upon it.
“We talk about success all the time — how to have success and how to make money, how to address all the economic issues of our planet — meanwhile we have one billion people who live on a quarter or less a day,” she said. “We have 17,000 children who die of hunger everyday in this planet. Take a moment and let that penetrate your heart. The obscenity of it, the immorality of it, the absurdity.”
Addressing the primary demographic of the audience, Williamson asked women of America to “eradicate unnecessary suffering from the planet by acting as mothers to their children.”
“We must empower the women and educate the children,” she said.
Williamson added that modern-day politics is missing the point, arguing that to change the world, we must instead realize that “in each of our lives we go through an Armageddon — the sadness, the divorce, the loss of someone loved.”
According to Williamson, everyone must make a choice between darkness and light at some point in their lives. She said by choosing light, we can harness energy in order to change the world.
“Find peace in your heart; the choice is yours,” she offered.
The individual choice of every person to choose light, Williamson claimed, is the most powerful agent of social and political change.
“The majority has never been the factor that turns the world around,” Williamson said. “Social changes are always established by a small group of people considered outrageous radicals simply because they are on a higher level of consciousness.”
After describing the regular life of an American who “wakes up, reads the news, sees the atrocities, adds caffeine and rushes out into the world,” Williamson insisted that everyone serves somebody.
“If you do not give up your mind to the higher love, which is the center of the universe, it will be hatred,” Williamson said. “You’re going to have to serve somebody.”
The Women’s Community Center sponsored the talk, which was also co-sponsored by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research, The Office for Religious Life and iTHRIVE.