Friday, October 9, 2009

What does it mean for one to promote peace?

As most of you know by now our president, Barak Obama, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for the year 2009. I am not going to rant and rave here about the choice made, as it has been done and I will not beat the dead horse, so to speak. What I would like to do is to introduce to you the other candidates who were also nominated... you decide, what does it mean for one to promote a sense of peace in the hearts of men?

Sima Samar is a women's rights activist in Afghanistan who "with dogged persistence and at great personal risk, she kept her schools and clinics open in Afghanistan even during the most repressive days of the Taliban regime, whose laws prohibited the education of girls past the age of eight. When the Taliban fell, Samar returned to Kabul and accepted the post of Minister for Women's Affairs."

Ingrid Betancourt: French-Colombian ex-hostage held for six years.

Handicap International and Cluster Munition Coalition: "These organizations are recognized for their consistently serious efforts to clean up cluster bombs, also known as land mines. Innocent civilians are regularly killed worldwide because the unseen bombs explode when stepped upon."

"Hu Jia, a human rights activist and an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, who was sentenced last year to a three and a half year prison term for 'inciting subversion of state power.'"

Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China's communist system. He now lives in the United States."

Dr. Denis Mukwege: Doctor, founder and head of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He has dedicated his life to helping Congolese women and girls who are victims of gang rape and brutal sexual violence."

Maybe I am missing the "big picture" and am not able to see how the love and care these people have brought to their countries has benefited the world, but the peace they brought to the lives they touched would seem unmeasurable. No, it doesn't sound like they gave any great speeches read from a teleprompter, and no they didn't travel around the world smiling for the cameras, but what they did was to give of themselves for the sake of others. President Obama could take a lesson.

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