Planting the Seeds of Peace

Apparently there is some controversy over the choice of Wangari Maathai for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, the chief complaint being that planting trees has nothing to do with peace.

I like this rebuttal:

“This is the first time environment sets the agenda for the Nobel peace prize, and we have added a new dimension to peace. We have expanded the peace concept to include environmental issues because we believe that a good quality of life on Earth is necessary to promote lasting peace in the world. Peace depends on our ability to secure our living environment,” says committee chairman Ole Danbolt Mjoes.

Maathai herself says simply: “Many of the wars in Africa are fought over natural resources. Ensuring they are not destroyed is a way of ensuring there is no conflict. In managing our resources . . . we plant the seeds of peace.”

Read the article: “Rooting for Peace”

One for the Good Guys

Wow. I’d never heard of Wangari Maathai (“Mama Miti” – Swahili for “The Mother of Trees”) until today’s news reports that she’s been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Now I’m grateful that in a world full of scummy politicians and reprehensible world “leaders”, today the light shines on this remarkable lady. It’s a good day. We hear about far too few of them, but it’s reassuring to learn that giants still walk among us.

BBC News: Locals Toast Mama Miti’s Famous Win

Don’t stop there. Learn more about Wangari Maathai…

It’s interesting that the truly inspiring people — Mama Miti, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and probably countless others who work quietly, in obscurity — come from the impoverished and disadvantaged places of the world. Where are the “great leaders” of our comfortable first world countries? It makes me sad to think how much we lack in that which we need most.

I don’t really know why I care so much. I just have something inside me that tells me that there is a problem, and I have got to do something about it. I think that is what I would call the God in me.

All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet. It must be this voice that is telling me to do something, and I am sure it’s the same voice that is speaking to everybody on this planet – at least everybody who seems to be concerned about the fate of the world, the fate of this planet.

– Wangari Maathai