Wednesday, June 29, 2005

1000 women for peace

Representing the millions around the world who quietly work for peace in the form of education, human rights, justice and economic assistance are being nominated as a group for the Nobel Peace Prize. As someone who has worked my whole career for nonprofit organizations and various causes, I'm aware that most Americans don't know about heroic efforts made in our communities every day to promote peace and wellbeing among those in need.

After September 11, we hailed our "everyday heroes" -- the firefighters and police who courageously aided others, often sacrificing themselves to help. It made me thoughtful of the everyday heroes we don't acknowledge because the devastation they wade into is individual -- they take on catastrophe one person at a time. People who work in food banks and homeless shelters, women in repressive countries who struggle to see that their daughters have a chance to learn to read, healthcare workers who spend their summer vacations flying to the poorest countries to perform eye surgeries and restore sight. Mother Theresas by the millions. At last, a prize for people who are really doing a lot to create peace.

It defies poetry or even reporting. It's a worldwide movement, and like all movements that will prevail, it is silent, populous and determined. It comes from the heart. The Nobel committee finally has a chance to get it right.