World peace …. that favorite topic of beauty pageant contestants and those attempting a serious drinking toast ….. was also an obsession of the inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel.
His personal recipe for world peace was to use part of the fortune he amassed from his invention to present an annual award to the human or humans who had done the most in the past year to make peace happen. Along the way people as diverse as Mother Teresa, Leo Tolstoy and Henry Kissinger have been honored. The award is presented every year in Oslo Norway, and a few days ago the author of this blog got to visit the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.
I and the character I created, Lola Zeitman, both share Alfred Nobel’s obsession with the concept of world peace. Lola believes that empathy is the key to getting along, and that if we could all just walk in each others shoes (or feel each others feelings) hatred would be difficult. I like to think that she is right. However, I may be less of an idealist than Lola. Humans are remarkably clever and I fear that even if we all became telepathic tomorrow, we’d still find a way to hate, not to mention figuring out a hundred new ways to manipulate and take advantage of each of other.
I do now know, however, that Norway is a stunningly beautiful country (see waterfall at right), Oslo is a fascinating city (see statue above) and the two exhibits at the Nobel Peace Center during July 2012 were truly moving. I walked away with a few trinket souvenirs, and the belief that if even the man who invented dynamite can reach out for a solution to war, maybe there really is an answer out there somewhere.