At 4:58am Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent me an email about President Barack Obama being the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Tutu used the affectionate terms by which I call him and his wife Leah and the one we use for fellow Nobel Peace Laureate President Nelson Mandela in writing, “Leah was crying with joy and disbelief as we watched an epoch-making event unfolding before our eyes. What a fantastic result, what a fantastic human being, what fantastic people, what a fantastic country. What hope you all have aroused in the rest of the world. Thank you God, thank you friends, thank you for filling us all with hope that change is possible. Yippee…it is so like when Madiba became president, almost impossible, almost dreamlike but real. Pinch yourselves. It has happened you have all made it happen. Love and blessings, Arch and Archess.”
I wrote back “I too wept, rejoiced and thought, ‘Now let’s watch those reluctant members of congress fight him on providing universal health care: it’s one thing to stand up to a president, but one who’s also a Nobel Peace Laureate!?!’” But seriously, I hope this recognition will help Obama in his efforts towards peace, prosperity and the well-being for the citizens of the US and the world. I especially hope he will approach his decisions on wars, what contributes to them, and what can help bring them to an end through the prism and with the burden of carrying this internationally recognized peace mantel.In his remarks at 11:20am, Obama said he will accept this award as “a call to action” to establish a new era of engagement in which all countries work together to solve problems and improve conditions. He also expressed a hope that people of different faiths and beliefs could pursue a “new path” of working together. Please post comments on what you believe this global honor might allow him to do as well as what challenges he still faces.