The crowd in Tiergarten Park, Berlin, gathered to hear Barack Obama speak during the 2008 campaign.
So I hopped in the lift today at work, hours before Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize, and there was a news story on the little screen. It told of how the Dalai Lama didn’t mind that Obama was avoiding him during the Tibetan’s tour of the United States because of possible jeopardy to US-Chinese relations. And looking at it, one thing occurred to me: how funny that we trust him.
And it kind of struck me. We trust him. We give him the benefit of the doubt. We want to give him room to move because we trust him. When he does things that seem a little unfair, we trust that he has a plan, and that he knows what he is doing.
So, tonight, after he won the Nobel Peace Prize, I started asking around. And weirdly, the people around me echoed similar ideas. Largely because of his character- but also in part because of his history- we trust he will act well.
What a remarkable thing this is: to trust the leader of the most powerful country in the world.
Oh, we know he’s not endlessly trustworthy, or immune to internal pressures, or anything like that. But generally, we believe he’ll act in good faith and do what he can.
That makes me a little more comfortable about the world in which I live. A world in which there a horrible problems, no doubt. But I am happy to give Obama as significant chance to solve them.
What is peace if not confidence, assurance, hope. Granted, he may not have negotiated a Middle East peace treaty, but he has made a real difference to the way many people think about the world, and what’s possible in it.
And that’s more than worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize.