In all the years that I’d heard the winners of the Nobel Prizes announced in my life, I didn’t know what motivated its patron and founder, Alfred Nobel, until they happened to cover it in a high school class I sat in on last year. And that, my friends, is exactly what the man hoped for on his deathbed.
The inventor of dynamite, his obituary was accidentally printed in a French newspaper eight years before he actually died. It said “Le marchand de la mort est mort” (The merchant of death is dead). Rather than wag his finger at the paper and bluster about “typical liberal publishers” or try to get the editor fired or something, he decided that he wanted a different legacy. A few years later, he willed the bulk of his fortune to the establishment of the international prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, literature, and, of course, work done in the name of peace.
I realize that there probably aren’t many multi-millionaires reading this blog, which is okay, because I don’t think you have to be one to make a difference. I believe strongly that we all have the ability to transform our legacy as Nobel did, whatever our economic status. In the case of healing the ecology of our earth, a lot of personal, daily choices we already make have a bearing on the legacy we will leave.
Just days after Al Gore and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were announced as the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, over 12,000 bloggers will turn their thoughts toward the environment. On Blog Action Day (this Monday, October 15), blogs that ordinarily carry posts about make-up, photography, news about company x, auto repair, motherhood and who knows what other topics will all share their own perspective on the environment. Since this is blog is largely about things domestic, I’ll share some things about a household pollutant that we have some personal experience with.
If you’re a blogger who hasn’t joined, there is still time. Just click on the banner above and sign up. And if you are a blog-reader, be sure to click the banner on Monday and do some surfing to read a variety of perspectives on one day of global conversation about this one important issue.
Life soundtrack: The O’Jays, The Essential O’Jays, “Love Train”
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