At this same time last year the country was filled with hope. The whole world was watching to see if hope would prevail. It did. We celebrated. In the intervening months since Obama’s election cynicism is leaking back into our American psyche like poison leaking into the ozone, and the rest of the world has not yet caught up with our despair. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize caught Obama, and all Americans, by surprise.
If it’s darkest before the dawn, it’s midnight here. The almost frenetic support and belief in a better world has been eclipsed by the reality of hatred and politics at all costs, even at the sake of our own best interests. We did everything we could to elect hope, and now cynicism is once again gaining ground on a daily basis. We’re hearing it quite loudly as a result of this announcement from Oslo.
To his supporters Obama is “humbly recommitting to the work we began together”. In his own words “these challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime”.
Change doesn’t come as easily as an election. It’s not embodied in a mere mortal man. Change comes from hard, hard work, and from our ability to wake up every day and hold onto hope in the face of cynicism. It manifests in our belief in the goodness at the core of all that is human. Thank you Obama for reminding us of that hope. Thank you Oslo for acknowledging the significance of this moment in history. This award is not so much for Obama, but for the American people who still believe in all that is possible. This award is a call to action for us all.