A New Kind of Warrior
We are living at an extraordinary-and extraordinarily dangerous-moment. Never before have the wages of our transgressions, against each other and against the Earth itself, been so high. Should we fail to develop a more conscious orientation to our stewardship, our recklessness and irresponsibility could lead to global catastrophe. It is hard to imagine a more critical juncture in the history of the world.
To pray for a world without poverty or war or hunger or disease; to refuse to surrender to the chic complacency that has infused our popular culture; to continue to commit ourselves, as global citizens, to the transformation of ourselves and world conditions-such are the prerequisites for a new kind of warrior. A warrior not for war, but for peace. In the words of Albert Camus, "Peace is the only battle worth waging."
We should not assume that the relative quietude of this moment, in terms of social and political activism, is necessarily apathy or even denial. Many of us are not ignoring what's happening so much as grieving. We will cry and then we will begin again. We will pray to become new men and women, big enough and wise enough to give birth to new life within ourselves and the world around us.
A prodigal generation-one that has partied so hard and long we can't even remember when the party started-has suffered enough from our own primarily self-inflicted misery that at last we are turning our attention en masse to the suffering of the world. And for those of us who are American citizens, never has there been a year more critical for the effort at global transformation than the year 2004. No election in American history has mattered more to the future of the world.
The reclamation of American democracy for the principle of government of the people, by the people and for the people is the central, most critical issue of our time. Should we make this change-from government as basically a servant of big business to government as servant to the highest, most noble aspirations of humanity-we will have contributed greatly to the task of righting our world.
When our citizenship is viewed, as it was by Mahatma Gandhi and by Martin Luther King, Jr., as part of the spiritual quest to create the "beloved community," then politics takes on more than mere material significance. Politics is a contest for the spirit of our public sphere. "It is the mission of our generation to save the soul of America," said King.
We can do this. We were born to do this. Through the grace of God, it is not too late.
Marianne Williamson is the author of Healing the Soul of America, A Woman's Worth, and A Course in Miracles, among other books. She hosts a new progressive radio program, The Marianne Williamson Show; see www.MarianneRadio.com.