Now that just about the entire world has weighed in on whether or not President Obama deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the fact remains: he was awarded the prize.
What's with all the petty chipping and harping about his worthiness? Even those on the left are taking shots. Are we sore winners or what? "Oh this old prize? Heh, it's nothing! Who cares what five Norwegian men think?"
Can we please just accept this honor in a way befitting a nation that elected to the highest office in the land, a man whose vision struck joy in the hearts of the rest of the world?
Instead of celebrating this honor, we're diminishing it. Any club that would have Obama as a member can't be worth belonging to, right? Wait! He's OUR president! WE elected him, remember? I think we need a massive dose of "shift" about now.
We've become a bunch of curmudgeons. We're like the woman who receives a compliment on the new dress she's wearing and responds with "What, this old rag? I just pulled this out of my closet and haven't worn it in years." We no longer know how it feels to feel good or proud of ourselves. And for good reason. After all the havoc we created in the last eight years, maybe the Norwegians are trying to get a message to us that we finally did a good thing by electing Obama.
OK, maybe SNL was right. Maybe he did get it for not being Bush. But if that's his ONLY accomplishment thus far, his not being Bush is cause enough for the world to celebrate and bestow its highest honor on him.
As Americans, we cannot fully appreciate how the rest of the world must have felt during the past eight years of the Bush administration with a questionably-recovered alcoholic, ex-drug addict cowboy at the helm of the most powerful military on the face of the earth. Recall Bush landing on the aircraft carrier and strutting across the flight deck wearing that tight-fitting flight suit, proudly displaying his manhood for all the world to see. No wonder the world breathed a sigh of relief when Obama was declared the winner of our presidential election!
Huff Post blogger, Joseph Palermo, nailed it when he said:
What Bush did was shift the posture of American foreign policy toward militarism and unilateralism, and he did so with a jingoistic right-wing Christian fundamentalist flair. President Obama, in less than ten months, has reset American foreign policy more toward multilateralism and a mature engagement with the world.
So yes, Obama is not George Bush, and the world thought that was a good thing. His election demonstrated to the people of the world that the American people, who had kept Bush in office for 8 years, though even that's controversial. But then Democrats never had the cajones to actually mount a challenge to Bush's legitimacy as president even though he lost the popular vote and was selected, not elected, by the Supreme Court in 2000. They've redeemed themselves by re-engaging as a member of the world community, and resigned its role as the world's bully.
What if Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for articulating and extending a vision to the world that was one of inclusivity, not the "you're either with us or against us" kind of rhetoric heard from George W.
Here's what Obama said in his inaugural address, Jan. 20, 2009:
And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.
They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
I know these are just words and Obama gives a good speech, but maybe that's where it all begins - articulating a vision that captures the imagination. The work is yet to be done.
Palermo suggests Obama's winning the prize is another one of his "teaching moments." I agree, but for a slightly different reason.
I think there's a larger intelligence at work here, a new level of consciousness waiting to come forth. There's an awareness in giving of this prize to Obama that transcends the prize itself. It establishes new meaning. If this is a "think outside the box" collective moment, what can we learn from this event to forward the human condition?
From his inauguration speech again:
And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
Obama has taken a stand for America's return to leadership as a peacemaker. Those words were uttered ten months ago. Rome wasn't built in a day. Clearly, there is work to be done to achieve this lofty goal. We gave Bush eight years to destroy America's standing in the world. Can we allow Obama at least four to repair it?
Rather than viewing this prize as an albatross, why not hold it as a symbol we've been awarded to carry humanity's highest aspirations, like the Olympic torch? What if this award is a vote of confidence from the world community that America is once again viewed as a worthy steward of that flame? As our president said in his response to this award, " I view this less as a recognition of my own accomplishments and more as a call to action".
I can buy this. So what's the call to action? Let me take a leap here and suggest a larger context than the one Obama probably meant. I see this as a "call to action" for an evolution of the collective consciousness of mankind. That is, to have our collective consciousness aligned with its true nature, which is wholeness.
The true state of the universe is one of wholeness. There is no separation. Only in our human egotistic state do we experience separation. This is not the truth of how it is, it is an illusion.
I see the call to action as one for humanity to restore its consciousness to its natural and authentic state of oneness. I see the human race being invited to take a collective leap of consciousness so as to enter a new paradigm, one in which war is obsolete and has no relevance for how the world works. We either make this leap or we're bound for extinction, either through war or through cataclysmic environmental changes.
Let's consider that President Obama is just the torch bearer, but we're the ones who will do the heavy lifting of waging peace in the new paradigm. We're being asked to learn how to actively wage peace, not just end wars. As Obama said, "Starting wars is easier than ending them". And end them we must. But that's not enough.
We must to learn how to create peace in the aftermath. And not just the kind of stand-off peace of former enemies who've called a truce. We're being asked to stand for peace, to become peacemakers.
To be a stand for peace, not like in a Hallmark card, but in real ways in our lives everyday. Let's put aside the argument of whether or not Obama deserves the prize and get on with the business of waging peace. Here, you and me. Now.
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.
These are lovely words, but it is we who must have give them meaning by getting into action and manifesting this vision. Can we unclench our fists right here in this country and begin waging peace with our neighbors, no matter who we vote for?
This is what Pesident Obama is calling us to do. He's talking not only to Americans. He's speaking to the world. This is one reason why I think the world wanted to acknowledge him. It was their way of saying, "we hear you and we're on board".
In truth, the prize belongs to each of us. Or in the words of someone who commented on another post :
"I am not an American, but have great faith in the majority of your people. Some nations take a lot longer than 8 years to fix what has gone wrong. You, on the other hand, managed to reverse the tide, and elected a great man to be your leader. In many ways, this prize is for those who have elected him. He just happened to be the one to pick it up on behalf of you."
Now let's get to work and live into the honor we've just received. Imagine you've just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (And you have!) What is your acceptance message? What does this honor mean for you and how will you use the $1.4 million to further the cause of peace?
Please drop by the comment section below or visit my personal blog and website at Rx For The Soul. Blessings on the path.