If the world hadn’t already dumped enough pressure on the man to do for it what only we can do for each other, the Nobel committee gave Obama the peace prize today. I support it, but it makes me think.
Why, of all the Nobel prizes, is the Peace Prize the most controversial? It says something about Humanity. We can ignore science and literature, and occasionally Economics (although Nobel prizes for economics have been controversial as well), but people will get offended over endorsements to different paths to peace.
We too often forget that history of the Human race is filled with conflict, violence, hate, and evil. Paths out of the land of evil are beset on all sides with agents that prefer the status quo, that sometimes undermine the paths towards peace. Most of us wake up each morning in a state of harmony, forgetful of the state of the world today. So much of society in America is a distraction from this reality – so much so that just a short while in this numbing tranquility that some of us can dismiss most of human history – the evil that we systematically wage on each other – as a fluke, a distant memory, perhaps a myth?
Perhaps my cookie high school religion teacher Mrs. Ferry was not so nuts when she often repeated, “The greatest trick the devil ever played was to tell the world he went away.” For without named evils, there can be no clarity on paths beset by agents of evil. Evil without a name makes it harder for leaders who strive for Good to name what we are working against.
So I applaud Nobel’s team for putting their hopes behind what has not been accomplished yet. Simply putting up a sign pointing us down the right path of promises in a world covered in landscapes that point away from it is Good enough. Now it is up to each of us to take that path, name the Evil that exists, and lead others down that path together.