Your kindergartner heads off to school and has been in class for only two weeks when the school board decides to give your promising student a high school diploma. They declare they have hope your child will do great things. You’re delighted they see the promise as you do, but you think the diploma is premature.
Later, a friend in labor calls to say her baby about to be born has already received a birth certificate because labor is going so well they just “had” to do it before any more time passed.
Both of these scenarios are ludicrous, of course. You don’t receive a diploma or birth certificate because of anticipated outcomes. The same should have been true for President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He hasn’t negotiated any world peace or even achieved any major foreign policy. His nomination was based only on hope.
Nobel Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.”
To Obama’s credit, he said he was surprised and deeply humbled. What else could he say? He couldn’t say he deserved it. He couldn’t refuse it either. The fault lies with the Nobel Peace Prize committee. Its actions lessen the value of its prize just as would a prematurely awarded high school diploma or birth certificate.
And though the Nobel Peace Prize committee may not award a prize for it, Obama needs to work for world peace through our country’s strength and definitely not through peace at any cost.