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I Am Surprised And HumbledPosted Saturday, October 10, 2009, at 2:45 PM
The Nobel Peace Prize Medal
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five Nobel Prizes that was to be the legacy of the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden and came to the United States at the age of eighteen to study chemistry. His father was a wealthy industrialist who had invented plywood and later spent his energies building torpedoes. Alfred returned to Sweden and devoted himself to the study of explosives, and especially to the safe manufacture and use of nitroglycerine, the primary active ingredient in dynamite.
A French newspaper published a premature obituary of Nobel and it was reported to have become the vehicle that brought him to the decision to leave a better legacy after his death. The obituary stated "The merchant of death is dead" and went on to say, "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday." Nobel soon signed his last will and testament and set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the annual prizes that were to be awarded without regard to race or nationality.
Whether to sooth his conscience or to recognize those whose efforts have promoted peace, Alfred Nobel's prize has become an international symbol. Since 1901 many qualified recipients have lived up to his ideals such as:
*Jean Henry Dunant the founder of the Red Cross.
*President Theodore Roosevelt for his mediation of the Russo-Japanese War.
*President Woodrow Wilson for founding the League of Nations.
*Mother Teresa for her work in India to the poor.
*Lech Wał'sa for founding Solidarity in Poland and helped form a non-communist country.
*Desmond Tutu fought for racial equity in South Africa
*Martin Luther King Jr.'s desire for equal rights in America
Many other names grace the list and there were many that could have made the list like:
*Mahatma Gandhi (though nominated five times)
*Pope John Paul II
Some have made the list and you question the reason for their inclusion. Our president is one of the rare people who have been recognized for the Nobel Peace Prize but has not yet made any real changes to influence world peace. He has talked peace and his desire should be commended. However, since 1901, for all the desire and effort, lasting peace has not yet come to our world.
The reason is simple, peace cannot come to a community, a nation, or a world until the heart is changed. If you want to change the world, change the heart of the individual. One man tried it. He also promised peace, but he would never have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
You see, he was a criminal of the state. He was despised by the prevailing religious structure because he challenged their traditions. The host government thought him to be a troublemaker. He was tried and found guilty and put to death as a common criminal...that's not what you look for as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.
But the truth is that he is more deserving than all the men and women who have received the prize. The plan that he put into action, a plan of love, acceptance and forgiveness has changed more lives than any winner of the Peace Prize.
President Obama, if you really want to change the world and bring lasting peace, look to a man named Jesus for your model. I hope that someday you will be deserving of the prize Mr. President, he certainly was.
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Phil Warren is a local pastor and has lived in the Dexter community for the last 12 years. He has six children and four grandchildren and his wife Cindy is a local teacher. He enjoys photography, reading, writing and golf. He also loves coaching in the local park leagues. Phil spent his early years growing up in the hills near Wappapello Lake. He moved to Granite City, IL. during his grade school years. Phil worked 13 years at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis and has pastored since 1986. He also served in the U.S. Army as a military policeman and was stationed at Ft. Campbell KY. and Seoul, Korea. He attended college at SIUE and Oakland City College.