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Friday, October 9, 2009
Our President - Nobel Peace Prize Winner
In an announcement that apparently surprised practically everyone in the entire world, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced they would honor President Barack Obama as Nobel Peace Prize winner for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
President Obama responded by saying he was "surprised and deeply humbled" by winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Further saying, "I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership."
"I will accept this award as a call to action."
Obama said he did not feel he deserves "to be in the company" of past winners.
The Nobel announcement was a stunning decision that comes just eight months into Obama's presidency.
What some other Nobel Peace Prize winners have to say about it:
"He has had a very significant impact. It (his presidency) has changed the temperature and almost everybody feels a little more hopeful about the world." - Desmond Tutu (1984)
"In less than a year in office, he has transformed the way we look at ourselves and the world we live in and rekindled hope for a world at peace with itself." Mohamed ElBaradei (2005)
"In these hard times people who are capable of taking responsibility, who have a vision (of problems), commitment and political will should be supported." Gorbachev (1990)"
And then up pop the nay sayers.
I have never been so weary of politics in my life.
I have always been fairly politically active.
I can remember when people from different parties could discuss political differences.
Aside and apart from politics, I can remember when people were kinder to one another. When we all showed one another respect in our daily interactions with one another.
What on EARTH has happened to us?
Now, people like Rush Limbaugh - NOT an elected official (THANK GOD!) - can become a talking head for an entire political party. News stations can broadcast "news" that is simply not true.
All of this anger surfaces in too many places, too often.
I'm as guilty as anyone else, I'm afraid.
In response to a posting on Facebook this morning that was lambasting Barack Obama, and the Nobel Committee, asking what had Obama done to deserve the prize, I fired off the following response:
"Well. For one thing, he tries awfully hard to start with a grass roots approach of encouraging people right here in our own country to show a little bit of kindness, courtesy and respect to one another. It "could" grow from there IF people would stop thinking the two political parties (both political parties included) would stop acting like they're Junior Varsity sports teams in a pissing contest and get on about the business of actually running the country - you know, the job they were elected to do. Where they're instead getting GREAT health benefits and GREAT retirement plans which will have them set for life while creating a country of homeless, uninsured American citizens. But it's loads more fun to just call the man who was elected as president names and ridicule everything he does and or attempts to do. Of course he hasn't gotten world peace in the short time he's been in office, but he's at least undoing some of the evil the last president did. People around the world don't seem to hate Obama as much as they did Bush. It's only our own citizens who now hate the president."
And then, immediately after posting the above rant (and since that's exactly what it was - a rant, it's a bit garbled and I apologize for that), I happened to glance up and my eyes caught sight of a bumper sticker I have stuck on a filing cabinet in my office. And it gave me pause.
Words are powerful, and I wish we could all remember that. I include myself. I don't have a smidgen of control over what anyone else does, or says, or believes. I need to remember this and just take care of my own actions and my own carelessness with words.
And not only remember the words on this bumper sticker, but live them - - - -
and I'm making a promise to myself, right now, to try to do better - beginning right now.
But. I have also always, my entire life - even as a little girl - spoken up when I've seen injustices being done. I hope I never become so cowed or intimidated by anyone to ever forget a quote I have always lived my life by -
‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’