Around a hundred and twenty years ago, a man picked up his morning newspaper and, to his surprise and horror, saw his own name listed in the obituary column. The newspaper had reported his death in error, instead of the death of his brother. He was mortified.
After he regained his composure, his focus turned to what people had said about him.
The obituary was headed Merchant of Death is Dead. It went on, ‘The man who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before has died.’ The man had been the inventor of dynamite and had also designed military armaments.
The stark black and white words resonated with him and rattled around in his head. He came to the realisation that if he had indeed been the one who died, this would have been his legacy. He decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered and from that day on started working toward peace.
His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today for the great Nobel Prize—one each year for physical science, chemistry, medical science, literary work and the fifth for the person or society that renders the greatest service to the cause of peace.