Dear committee for the selection of the Nobel Peace Prize,
I noticed that you forgot to add the category of “mom” to those eligible to nominate candidates for the peace prize. However, I’ve decided that you will like my idea so much that you will be happy to overlook the fact that I’m not actually a qualified nominator. You see, I’ve been giving the concept of peace a little more thought than usual lately and I’ve decided that we can no longer afford to overlook the powerful ways that large numbers of individuals work toward peace every day through their most ordinary choices. We can refer to these individuals as the “people who live simply”. I know, it’s not terribly catchy but it is certainly better than the “simpletons” or the “simple livers”. And, no mater how you decide to call them, I hope that you will agree that they are worthy of recognition.
The important point I want to make about this group that I am nominating is that they are all people who realize that peace is about finding a way to live that recognizes that others are entitled to do the same. It is about choosing to live with less so that others may have more. And it is, I believe, the very foundation of peace on this planet.
I am referring specifically to those people who consciously consume less, pollute less and exploit less, though doing so carries a cost to their time and comfort. I am referring to many thousands of people, particularly those in Western societies, who challenge cultural lifestyle norms in order to alleviate suffering.
I am aware that it is the very nature of your prize to believe in the power of a few extraordinary, gifted and courageous individuals to move human progress. But I believe that an organization that can recognize Bob Dylan’s literary contributions can revise it’s thinking in any number of ways.
By recognizing the collective actions of ordinary people you have the power to send the message that our decisions matter to more than just ourselves. And by recognizing a vast, somewhat undefined group of people you can send the message that peace isn’t achieved through the actions of a few charismatic individuals. If we are truly going to make progress in tackling the violence of climate change and dwindling resources, then we need action on a large scale. We need all hands on deck.
I hope you will agree that it is time that we start to embrace our collective responsibility for Peace and that you will consider bestowing this year’s prize on ALL of those who are already hard at work. Surely you have noticed that we can no longer afford to leave this one to our leaders.