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All day yesterday, many of us, myself included, were saying to ourselves, they gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, For What? On the day that our President was awarded arguably the most hopeful award that exists on planet Earth, I got to watch another Nobel Peace Prize nominee speak, one who truly deserved to win. Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh spoke to a crowd of almost 3000 at the Beacon Theater in New York about suffering, mindfulness, and how to work for inner peace. Thich Nhat Hanh – Thay, as he is known to students and friends – was nominated for the Nobel Prize in 1967 by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his peace activism during the Vietnam War.
It was certainly an odd juxtaposition – watching a truly deserving (losing) nominee speak and teach Buddhism on the day that a questionably deserving (yet still highly promising) winner took the prize. Then I got home and watched Rachel Maddow (as she often does), break the whole thing down. This blogger and (hopeful) practitioner and attempted-teacher of peace is very happy our president won the prize. I hope he returns to the promise of his campaign on issues like Healthcare for everyone, economic fairness, and saving the planet from environmental destruction.
Take it away, Rachel.