October 09, 2009
Today’s announcement that President Barack Obama has been named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner no doubt shocked many people, including President Obama. In a way this award is borrowed from the future. It represents what I hope will be the Obama administration’s legacy.
When I was active in the dojo we used to tell karate-ka something when they had been awarded a new rank. We used to say, “this rank does not represent how good you are but rather how good you can be.”
Mr. Obama, the Nobel prize represents our hope, America’s hope, the world’s hope, that you can be that good. That you can create an atmosphere of openness and cooperation and brotherhood in America and across the world. You presented yourself on the American politica stage and said, “I can lead. I can make a difference to America and the world.” America heard you and has given you the chance to lead. The world has heard you and is waiting for you to mend old ills and forge new beginnings.
The Nobel Peace prize is the world’s way of saying, “We, too, believe. We, too, want hope, want change, want peace.”
This prize is not how good you are or have been until now. This prize is how good we hope, and need, you to be.