Peace Prize Victory for "We"
by The Opportunity Agenda, Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 09:06:17 AM EDT
One of the shining moments in Obama's campaign from 2008 was the "Yes We Can" mantra that rang out across America. It was a powerful reminder of the founding principles rooted in our democracy, the idea that we live as "We The People." I think this is an important icon to meditate on after hearing news that President Obama is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The United States lost a great deal of respect by the world community during the eight years leading up to Obama's victory. This is, I believe, due to the rampant cowboy behavior we wore on our sleeve when stepping out into the world. For eight years, the values of the old frontier—boot straps, Bibles and bourbon—were thrown down on the table; bootstraps because we lived by a "We don't need anyone to help us" mentality, Bibles because we saw the world with certitude as if we were gods, and bourbon because we drank ourself blind with greed and profit.
When I say "we," I'm talking about the nation, a living organism of 300 million people wrapped into one package that is placed out in front of us every time our leaders lead us abroad. Of course, many around the world knew that the views of a few in charge were not those of the masses. However, as any fan of old west films will tell you, cowboys are exciting to watch, but miserable in the responsibility department, one of the reasons why it became more and more difficult to find allies to stand with us.
What's great about Obama is that he returned us to a focus on community, that there is more than just me in this big world. He reminded us that we can't do it alone, that he wouldn't be where he is without the labors of those before him, the same way that non of us find progress without the help of others. Someone did, after all, labor to make those bootstraps.
As the world recognizes Obama for his efforts for peace, we need to remind ourselves that community is key toward progress and peace. Our most tolerant communities are those who accept all people, regardless of their views or background. Listening goes a long way, which is why we should continue to listen to the changes he continues to call for in furthering peace and progress both at home and overseas.
Read more at The Opportunity Agenda website.