Pennsylvania, O’ Pennsylvania! Mighty is your Name! 

So, let’s be candid when was the last time we described our Commonwealth as “mighty”? If you are like me then the answer is probably never. However, that is what is proclaimed in our official state song,

Now, let’s be really candid and if you are like me, you most likely have used words like decline, stagnant, divided, and outdated to describe our Pennsylvania.

The current and projected socioeconomic trends would justify these dismal and pessimistic descriptions of our Pennsylvania. 

Shame on us for accepting and succumbing to such a negative future.

Shame on us for living and acting in an echo chamber of mediocrity.

Shame on us for allowing the cynics and the never-ending barrage of “politainment ideology” move us to merely go along to get along.

“Mighty Pennsylvania” As we begin 2023, what can we do together to make it so?

First: let us call up, remember, and act on the guidance of our founder William Penn who said “Let the people think they govern and they will be governed.”

William Penn faced adversity that many of us never could have endured. For his beliefs …specifically for his deep understanding of God and our “ freedom of conscience” William Penn was attacked, mocked, and jailed Yet through all his trials he kept the faith. It is from this faith that William Penn also accomplished the extraordinary by negotiating the peaceful transfer of lands from the Lenape tribe of the Delaware Indians while locked up in the Tower of London. 

The result: Penn’s Woods. A bountiful place of faith and liberty. A place for all to have the chance to flourish. A place of hope and a place where we all together can become “Mighty”.

Second: in 2023, let us divest ourselves from selfish behavior and lend a hand to help our neighbor. Let us constantly and fervently do this and then watch as our communities grow mighty and great.

Third: let our pledge this year to be civil in our public discourse, let us listen first and talk last, let us separate weak political rhetoric for strong thoughtful commentary on the public policies of the day and let us never throw aside our unconscious understanding of what is right and what is wrong for a cheap personal gain or political victory.

This is the year it all begins. We move from the wilderness of the constant barrage of anger, stress, and despair to our mighty woods — Penn’s Woods. Our Pennsylvania that with our collective efforts will be all that William Penn had hoped for. A land of unity, tolerance, faith, liberty, and love.

Rob Wonderling is a former member of the Pennsylvania State Senate and now serves as the Executive Director of the National Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, Philadelphia.

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