A sociology class at ORU had the opportunity to hear Oklahoma State Sen. Gary Stanislawski speak to their class last Thursday. A graduate of ORU himself, Stanislawski shared how he came to be a politician and the importance of listening to the Holy Spirit in one’s own life.
“The only reason I won is because I was obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit,” Stanislawski said. “Too many of us just go through life. We’re not listening. I’m here to tell you…you have to make a difference. You have to know when you’re supposed to make a change that will not just affect you, but can affect millions of people.”
After serving eight years on the Jenks school board, Stanislawski decided to run for State Senate in 2008. Not knowing who would vote for him, he worked hard campaigning and listened to the Holy Spirit the entire way. Stanislawski won by a mere 15 votes.
“There are defining moments, if you’re obedient, that will change the course of your life,” he said.
Election participation was a key topic in the discussion. Stanislawski shared that only 27 percent of young people voted two elections ago. According to a recent survey conducted by Harvard University, only about a quarter of eligible millennial voters even planned on voting in this past election. Stanislawski asked the students why this was.
“I think we’re out of touch with politics and what is going on,” one student stated.
“We’re focused on school, so it’s not as important of an issue right now, because we’re just trying to get our school work done,” said another.
Stanislawski combated this issue, saying whether a student votes or not is a conscious issue that affects them.
“Don’t tell me that voting isn’t important. It affects your life, and not just your life now,” he said. “Once the pendulum swings, eventually it comes back, but it’s a hard train to stop.”
Stanislawski encouraged the students to pray and think through issues that are facing our society today. Students need to be aware of what is going on and make conscious decisions to do what they believe is right. The senator encouraged students to pray and use discernment for the many issues in life that are not black and white.
“Pray. Please pray. Think through issues. The issues are more important than you,” Stanislawski said. “The issues affect your future family, your children, and your grandchildren. It impacts our society and nation. It’s serious, so pray.”