Thursday, December 10, 2009

a perpetual project

With “deep gratitude and great humility,” President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for the sake of “our highest aspirations.” He endeavors to recount a story of our inhumanity and avarice that must lose their war against our humanity and generosity. The real substance of Our Perpetual Project is intangible: ideas bearing values that work as ideals.

“Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. ‘Let us focus,’ he said, ‘...on a gradual evolution in human institutions.’ A gradual evolution of human institutions. What might this evolution look like? What might these practical steps be?”

“Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. ....And....the continued expansion of our moral imagination...[W]e do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place....[F]undamental faith in human progress...must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey....what’s best about humanity....our sense of possibility....our moral compass....Let us reach for the world that ought to be—that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.”