It was just announced that President Obama has won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. I offer my congratulations while trying to keep my well earned cynicism in check. My wife, Steph Flores-Koulish, saw the Dalai Lama yesterday in DC and came home last evening filled with his hope and compassion. She says he made people in the room feel bigger, more hopeful and other-committed. It’s not about the small stuff; it’s about acting as if this were your last day on earth… without the anxiety that might deservedly accompany such thoughts.
A facebook friend this morning posted his thoughts (thanks Jeff Levin) about Obama’s Nobel and he reminded why many of us voted for Obama. It was about hope and about having a leader that appeals to our better angels. Yep. Obama does this. My friend also says we haven’t seen the best of Obama yet, and I think I agree. At least I want to.
Just a few minutes ago I heard a member of the Oslo committee tell BBC that Obama won the prize beause he has shifted the dialogue, replaced cynicism with hope and a commitment to having words replace guns and bombs as the more effective way of resolving international disputes. He referred to Obama’s commitment to nuclear disarmament as well as to some not yet conversations Obama led at the UN last week, which he says should lead the global community in a new direction.
Well I hope so, and for this moment, am willing to put aside my thoughts that there exists tens of thousands of epople who work for peace everyday who are also qualified to win a Nobel peace prize.
I’m willing to imagine that with the moral capital that accompanies a Nobel prize, President Obama will now be more inclined to getting the US out of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and leading (as opposed to compromising) the country towards real universal health care reform.
Congratulations Mr President. Enjoy the day. In the mean time, many of us shall continue to urge your better angels and ours to lead you and us towards a stronger and more peaceful future.