It’s 2009. We have three years until the world might end– and frankly, it is quite possible. We’re polluting our own atmosphere, the West is at war with the East, the East is at war with itself, thousands die everyday from malnutrition and underdeveloped living conditions. I really don’t know what else could go wrong. And to be quite honest, we are so far into destroying the earth as well as each other, it seems impossible to ever fix these things.
But President Barack Obama has hope. (Slogan pun intended.) He won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Hey, I was just like most of you a couple days ago: “What has he even done?!” But, I have done some reflecting, and now, think otherwise.
As a college student, the longing for intellectual development and elitist information floods my mind everyday. My sole purpose, as an employee to the education system is to learn, and hopefully prevent ignorance through knowledge. I am a force for the future. At least that’s what they say.
Because of such, it is only mandatory that I accept President Obama’s new award with an open heart and a congratulatory welcome. He has epitomized what us college students are trying to do, according to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.
The committee said in its four-paragraph statement issued with the delivery of the prize, that President Obama was rewarded “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” He is even stated to have “created a new climate in international politics.” Let me tell you, it’s true!
I recently returned home to the States in May after spending almost six months abroad. My spring semester of 2009 was amazing, and I have never changed more. I am very grateful I was able to travel like I did, and will forever be indebted to all those who supported me in my journey. But it was there that I saw firsthand just how fucked up Bush left our reputation overseas. After the initial question of where I was from, “America,” I responded gleefully, came the inevitable, “How do you like Obama?” Shocked, I answered that I liked him very much, and was excited to see what he could do the first months in office. This is where things get tricky. I was overseas during this crucial newborn time, and most of you, were not. Here in the States, Obama was criticized and put to a timer: “When will he fix this? When will he fix that?” I, however, was with the Europeans, observing him from afar, and loving it. They most always said that they liked him as well, and was excited to see America get back to its feet.
Now, ten months into his term, we have seen even more impatience on home soil, demanding that this “superhero” we elected get down to business. Well, I have news for you, he is. And it is outrageous for us to ask him to go any quicker when our population stood and watched President Bush ruin our country for 8 long years. Unfair, to say the least.
President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize not for what he has done; I know, I know, Guantanamo is still up, the war is still active, Health Care Bill isn’t passed, and Palestine and Israel are at each other’s throats. I get it.
But, President Obama received this award because of the his groundbreaking public policy practices. He lives with hope for peace and world order, supports discussions, not violence, takes interest in climate change, and dreams for a world without nuclear weapons. It is this mindset that won him an award. He is seen as an innovator, a role model, and already someone of historic value. These peaceful practices are things that can only help our county and duty to others as a world superpower.
As a student, if we are not to learn our history, and grow from it, only ignorance can resonate. We should believe only in peace. We should support others who do, as well. And who better to support than our active in-office president?
We should look at this award as not a symbol of what he hasn’t yet accomplished, but what time, like the next three years in office, could do. It took president Bush eight years to ruin international confidence in America, and it has only taken 10 months for Obama to regain it and be rewarded by a peace committee based in Norway. Mind you, he is only the third sitting president to receive it. I think, for once, peace is talking.