What a headline to wake up to this morning! Just 9 months in office and our hopeful new president has secured international acclaim in the form of the Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” I have to admit that once I got past my complete surprise, my emotions were mixed and I am still contemplating the many implications of this prestigious recognition. I was pleased to hear the President’s response though – he was humbled to be selected. To me, this initial reaction confirmed that Obama understands the weight of the honor bestowed upon him. Though he has accomplished a fair amount while in office and gained a good momentum, he still has many lofty goals left to accomplish. He has outline his plan for bettering the country and the world – even though I don’t agree with everything, his positive and straight forward approach I hope will continue to power him forward.
Sadly, the backlash for our President receiving the Nobel Prize had probably begun before he was even awakened with the news. My favorite comment so far was that the Taliban felt Obama had done nothing to earn the award. The republican party was also quick to put in their two cents, with President Michael Steele asking “… What has President Obama actually accomplished?” and attributing the award to Obama’s “star power.” And so the opinions will continue to roll in, despite them the fact will remain that President Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize and it is a great honor.
I will leave you with the thoughts of another Nobel laureate who sums up my feelings pretty well:
“So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act,” said former Polish President Lech Walesa, a 1983 Nobel Peace laureate. “This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let’s see if he perseveres. Let’s give him time to act,” Walesa said.