Peace – it’s not just for international relations

In March 2005, when I first met Obama, I was 7 months pregnant.  I had never met him before and he came over to me, put his hand on my shoulder and asked “How are you feeling?”  Peace is compassion.  I described him that night to my husband as someone who exudes “peacefulness” and “calm”.

Peace is that race is no longer a barrier to the highest office in the land.

Peace is that people who emulate our President can have the courage to ask questions, change their mind in light of new information or changing situations.

Peace is that people are pushed to think through diplomatic solutions first.

Peace is recognizing and putting people and policy into motion that push Israel to aggressively pursue a 2 state solution (especially knowing that, if not, there’ll be a one-state solution – and it won’t be what the current leaders want it to be.)

Does Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize – yes.  The barriers he has broken down, the dialogue he infused throughout communities around the globe questioning status quo, and his bold statements and actions on nuclear (or nucular as our previous President would have said) non-proliferation make him worthy of such a lofty honor.

the email note he sent out to his list on Friday is a perfect summation of why he truly deserves it (see below).  Do we all have a lot of work to do?  Yes.  So – rather than everyone whining and debating – maybe they can simply get to work helping further the process of peace! 

I think it’s telling that, in Hebrew, the word for PEACE (Shalom) also means hello and goodbye.  In other words – Peace has many definitions!

Suzan —

This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

This award — and the call to action that comes with it — does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama


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