A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize: Apathetic Reflections

Periodically throughout the day, I have been reading the ponderments of many on the left and on the right, in editorial and on the blogosphere, concerning the announcement that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. I have read many thoughtful reflections from people who believe the president is a good choice and from those who do not. While there has been some name-calling and demagoguery on both sides, I have read many reasonable reflections from people who simply disagree. I have also been interested that for many it is not all that clear what the qualifications should be for those who win the prestigious award.

But I have been wondering what those persons think who simply do not care much about the Nobel Peace Prize nor who gets it. I count myself as one of those persons. I find this whole subject to be completely uninteresting. Don't misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that because I have no interest in it, that such an award is unimportant nor a waste of time. There are all kinds of important things in life that some people just don't care about. But I just cannot seem to work up a whole lot of interest in today's news. Indeed, this post is coming so late in the day because I have had a difficult time motivating myself to write it. I just don't care.

But I am writing this because I think it might be interesting to ponder some thoughts from the apathetic. I suppose for me (and this is personal, of course) I have never been much interested in awards. I have received some honors in my life for which I am grateful to those who thought of me. I have also served on a few committees that have granted awards. Those individuals whom we honored deserved what they received, although I found myself irritated at times with other committee members who attempted to complicate the process, and who frankly took themselves and their own views too seriously, and felt that the giving of the award was more about the statement they were making to everyone as opposed to the person who was honored.

Thus, as one who apathetically ponders the moment, I wonder why I cannot work up more enthusiasm for a prize that is awarded every year by five people in Norway. Perhaps at some point in my life before they bury me, I will come to figure out the significance of all this and actually join future discussions on future recipients; but for now, I will only say one thing because it is the appropriate response, even if I find this whole thing to be somehow beside the point...

Congratulations, Mr. President.
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Cross-Posted at RedBlueChristian


Craig Eppler said...

I think it is more telling to listen/read the reaction to the honor than that of the honor itself. Typically those who oppose Obama are negative about the award and those who support Obama are positive about it and those who are neutral seem to be neutral. Nothing changes.

Allan R. Bevere said...


I certainly agree with your observation, although I have found a consistent thread of Obama supporters on the Net saying that the timing is not right, that it is too early.

But, except for that proviso, yes, it is more interesting to read the reactions to the honor than to dwell on the honor itself.

Anonymous said...

Although there is vanity in most awards, and the motives for giving and recieving them are going to be ambiguous at best; nonetheless I see value in the Nobel Prizes, for they do inspire the public and give them higher dreams and aspirations. While I don't always agree with the choices and am put off at times by the politics; once in a while the committee gets it right. This time I'm ambiguous about your president's winning it. I think it may have been more appropriate to consider him after his time in office.

Country Parson said...

The Nobel Prize does mean something to me, but I confess that there are multitude of things that seem to matter very much to others that I care nothing about: I have never seen an episode of most TV sitcoms; Sooner or later someone will tell me who is in the World Series; Anything Richard Dawkins has to say; Hunting in general; News commentators commenting on news commentators - unless it's intentional comedy; The Oscars and Emmys; Electronic games including Wii; Sudoku.

Chris said...

I think the prize says less about President Obama himself, and more about the global cult of personality that has arisen around him... he is deserving of awards simply because HE IS.

I'm more interested in the prizes, say, for medicine or physics -- these are the ones that matter.

Lisa said...

I think the Nobel Prize is an honor for the President, he was very gracious about accepting it.