If any of us has led a life as sincerely altruistic as Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have for as long as they have (40 years after his presidency,) then I guess we might be at ease with whatever comes when we’re ninety years old too.
To me, It’s not just that his demeanor and self-possession make such a stark contrast to the bloviators (Trump & his Republican candidate counterparts) that we are forced to listen to in the news. More pointedly to me, it makes the everyday personal conflicts that all of us have with members of our family or friends that seem so petty and such a waste of time and life energy.
It’s interesting to note also that serious illness, like melanoma cancer and its invasive reach into the brain, serves as a catapult for the world’s attention. Had Jimmy Carter not gotten cancer and died instead by falling off a ladder, would the world (and the news media) have had a chance to acknowledge the humanitarian contributions that he and his foundation have achieved? For example, a rampant worm infestation in millions of Africans has been eradicated now to only a few.
Also notable to me is that his successor at the Carter Center is not one of their three sons or even Amy, the infamous redhead kid in the White House – but a grandson who was named Chairman of the Board last November. Jimmy Carter also mentioned that their endowment is $600 million strong.
Throughout these newsbreaks, his wife, Rosalynn has been silent by his side. But she has also been by his side doing rather than staying home and drinking tea. Did you know that Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter were BOTH awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for their humanitarian efforts?
So, even if we’re not planning to fly to Nepal to build houses for village people or to travel to Guyana to monitor elections, what can we do to make our own lives more meaningful?
That’s a good question – and lives like the Carters are inspirational to taking a break from the bullying emptiness of campaign rhetoric and petty internecine struggles that seem so commonplace everywhere we look.