Friday, October 13, 2006

Wise Men (and Women)

The Noble Peace Prize for 2006 has just been announced and, much to my surprise, I am quite impressed by the choice.

Instead of the "big name" negotiators and actors, (nearly all of whom have contributed in some way to peace in this world) the name of a man and an institution most people in the world would not have heard of, and many people in the world have a lot to be grateful to, popped up.

If prevention is better than cure, then Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank have done far more for world peace than countless conflict resolvers. By providing a way of raising living standards and increasing 'happiness', especially amongst women; by giving people the chance for dignity and independence (from the state as much as of the state); and by fitting the solution to the needs of the individual rather than the masses, micro-credit has already done more for peace within the human race than sanctions and food-aid ever will.

There is little in this world I consider truly wise - but for once, an institution has managed to show wisdom and hinted at a path worth following, a path leading to lasting peace - a means to livelihood, freedom and happiness.

Well done those men (and, especially, women)!

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