The Obamas and the Nobel Peace Prize
Published: Friday | December 11, 2009
" ... We do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealised world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practised by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached - their faith in human progress - must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.
"Like generations have before us, we must reject that future. As Dr King said at this occasion so many years ago, 'I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him.'
"So let us reach for the world that ought to be - that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. Somewhere today, a soldier sees he's outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protester awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother, facing punishing poverty, still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams.
"Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that - for that is the story of human progress; that is the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth."
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