Friday, October 9, 2009
I went to the computer this morning all set to post about books and NPR. Then I took a look at The Washington Post, read that President Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
Reading the article, I learned that the Nobel committee had said this about Mr. Obama: "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."
Mikhail Gorbachev, a previous Nobel Peace laureate had this to say: "I am happy. What Obama did during his presidency is a big signal, he gave hope. In these hard times people who are capable of taking responsibility, who have a vision, commitment and political will should be supported."
Suddenly blogging about anything else seemed ridiculous.
I, personally, live in the Shenandoah Valley, one of the most peaceful places in the world. People here are rarely rude, let alone war-like. Yet I am still perceived by the rest of the world as an American, and so judged by the attitude and actions and manners of my president. And I guess I had not realized how profoundly the rest of the world welcomes the change in American tone and attitude that Mr. Obama has wrought.
As Rob Gifford is saying on Morning Edition as I type, the last administration was perceived as bullying its way around the world, "throwing its weight around," its approach "unilateral." Seen in that context, the awarding of this prize to Mr. Obama begins to seem like a huge, international sigh of relief; the international community welcoming its prodigal power back to the table.
I recognize that actually posting a response on a blog does not come naturally to a lot of you who read this blog. But I am really, really, really interested to know your reaction to this news. So please, pluck up your e-courage and post a response. Or, if your prefer, e-mail me, and I'll do the posting for you.