June 21, 2018

Living Well: Cruisin’ for a Revolution



Living Well: Cruisin’ for a Revolution

It’s 5:30 p.m., and the cool, clear sky of Marina del Rey promises a beautiful Sunday evening. Forty to fifty people gather aboard the Concordance, a private boat nestled at the end of dock G3000. Our captain, Dennis Cohen, an attorney with a gift for peaceful mediation, and his fiancée, Greta Hassel, wear welcoming smiles as they greet their delighted passengers. As I board the “Connie,” a woman approaches me. Ileana Wachtel, campaign press manager. We shake hands and speak for a brief moment before she leads me to the bow, where a small circle of passengers enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres are gathered around a petite woman in large sunglasses. Ileana waits for a break in the conversation, then introduces me to the guest of honor. I’ve met her before, a woman I’ve seen many times on pulpit, on stage, online, and on a string of inspirational books; a woman who is quoted everywhere, whose most famous words have been mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela in his inaugural address; a woman who is now clearing a very conscious trail to Washington, D.C. In case you have not heard, Marianne Williamson is running for U.S. Congress in our district, and she needs our support.

We exchange brief hellos, then I squeeze in two seats to the right of Marianne, next to Katherine Woodward Thomas, another inspirational force of nature. Marianne listens with grace as one of the passengers shares the difficulties she faced on another campaign, but we’re all aware of the problem; it’s time to redirect our attention to the solution. Marianne is a ground-breaker backed by the divine dynamic force of an idea whose time has arrived.

What is that idea? A constitutional amendment to outlaw the undo influence of money in government and to reverse the decision granting corporations the same rights as individuals. Our responsibility, as Thomas Jefferson admonished, is to hold our leaders accountable. “It is not easy to change the Constitution of the United States,” Marianne states. “Nor should it be,” but it is all that is left to us. We can rise up, start ­­a new conversation, and make the change. It is our responsibility.

Not content with a “Stepford” government, where the American people sit back and watch the show, this pint-sized powerhouse of transformation, integrity, and genuine concern for the state of our democracy is spearheading a movement, calling for all conscious adults to stop separating ourselves from the “dirty” political process, and instead to engage and transform it from the inside. And she is walking her talk.

After dinner, we overflow the top deck, as an acoustic band fills the air with enthusiastic “hail Mary” harmonies, then our hosts introduce Marianne for this evening’s formal address to her constituents. Sunglasses off now, she looks out at the group with intelligent brown eyes and speaks with passion about restoring democracy, which in our country, she says, “has become a mockery of the Gettysburg Address. We now have a government of a few of the people, by a few of the people, and for a few of the people.”

We cannot blame the government. Nor can we expect the government to solve the problem. Those in charge are the problem. Not necessarily the elected officials, but the special interests—the money—they are beholden to. And we are the solution.

Marianne cites powerful historical examples upon whose shoulders we stand: the Abolition, Suffragette, and Civil Rights Movements, none of which was fathered by a major political party, but was sparked by spiritual organizations and individuals who rose up and demanded change.

Running a grass-roots campaign, Marianne is calling for us to be the people who revolutionize the system and bring balance to the current crisis, a crisis of financial inequity, unequal to the point of absurdity with the recent ruling of the Supreme Court, which struck down the overall limits on campaign contributions. How many of you can compete at that level? How is your voice going to be heard if you cannot buy the media time or pay off the elected officials? The sad truth is, it will not. Financial inequality equals political inequality.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate," she says. "Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I don’t normally promote political candidates. I promote principles, and I wish every politician ran on this principle, but Marianne is the only one I know, so she gets my vote. As she pointed out, no matter how many petitions we sign, no matter how many letters we write, we cannot expect to solve any of the important issues until the main cause is addressed: “You can forget about banning pesticides and GMOs as long as agri-business is running Washington. Forget about universal health care as long as pharmaceutical companies are running Washington. Forget about all environmental and humanitarian issues as long as profit is running Washington," she said.

It will take a miracle for Marianne to accomplish the task she has set for herself, but she is best known for her extensive teachings on “A Course in Miracles,” by Helen Schucman so I have total faith in her and the power behind her—us.

Marianne is running a campaign funded entirely by individual contributions, a tall order. A modern-day David with one hell of a Goliath, she deserves our support and our prayers. Show up at the polls on June 3rd. Whatever your political affiliation, Marianne’s amendment will give your vote more bang for the buck.

I left the boat with a campaign t-shirt and a sense of confidence. No matter what happens this election, the conversation has begun. www.MarianneforCongress.com

Sage Knight is a local ghostwriter and Literary Midwife. She lives with her son, Eamon, and Shiloh, their Golden Retriever, at Top O’ Topanga and welcomes your visits to www.SageKnight.com.­­