Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize-for what?

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What, exactly, is it worth when you receive an A-for-effort on an assignment but ultimately don’t do well in the class?

Well, for starters you can feel great about yourself for trying your best. But that A-for-effort doesn’t mean much unless you can show some results as well.

Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned about the trend in today’s society of easily handing out awards. So easily in fact that Obama was recently given what is arguably the most significant award ever established-the Nobel Peace Prize.

I have nothing against Obama personally. I’d even be the first to congratulate him. What I take issue with is the fact that he won the most prestigious award in history despite the fact that he has made little to no tangible progress in any of the things he won it for.

Apparently Obama was given the honor of receiving this award for his push towards nuclear disarmament, his outreach to the Muslim community, and a handful of other things. Great, fine. But again, he hasn’t actually accomplished anything yet.

Do you know what people used to be given the Nobel Peace Prize for? Actually accomplishing things.

Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th President, won it for mediating and ending the Russo-Japanese war. The International Red Cross organization has won the Peace Prize multiple times. Martin Luther King, Jr. won it for his tireless campaign for equal civil rights.

Then Obama comes along with some big ideas to make nice with some people and wins it before actually doing anything?

If you ask me, it shouldn’t work like that.

When you run down the list of Nobel Peace Prize winners over the centuries, you can see that more and more of the awards seem to be given out for “effort” as time goes on as opposed to real achievements.

Maybe it’s tough to actually change anything in these days of bureaucracy and red tape but that doesn’t mean they should start throwing the awards at anyone who happens to walk through the door.

I mean, I’ve been for nuclear disarmament ever since I could pronounce “disarmament” and nobody gave me an award for it. Are we just so in love with Obama that we’ll go out of our way to woo him, even if he’s not doing anything that’s so different from the rest of us? Are we turning one of the world’s highest honors into a popularity contest just because we’re so excited that Obama is our president?

This policy of handing out awards for “effort” instead of genuine accomplishment cheapens the whole system and also acts as a retroactive slap to the face to people who have won in the past. You know, when it truly meant something.

It’s a testament to our culture that we’re willing to reward people for achieving less. You see less and less actual accomplishment, with more and more people saying “oh well, at least he tried” and handing them the prize anyway.

Is this how we want to behave? Really? Do we want to have people so engrossed with the idea of being awarded something for doing nothing that it stops anybody from trying their best, since they know they could still win anyway?

In fact, if nobody’s done something worthy of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, don’t give it out at all! Cluck your tongue at society as a whole and maybe they’ll actually try harder to earn it next time, instead of just settling into a routine of “effort” and complacency.