With former President Jimmy Carter in the news lately concerning his cancer diagnosis, I have been reflecting on the time I came in contact with him while I was serving as a media relations volunteer with Habitat for Humanity International in Americus, Georgia.
President and Mrs. Carter have a long association with Habitat and my first experience with them was on the 1991 Jimmy Carter Work Project in Miami. I was honored during the time I spent in Americus to work on several projects that involved the Carters.
Because Plains was less than ten miles from Americus, I frequently attended Carter’s Sunday school classes at the Maranatha Baptist Church. Almost two decades later, on one autumn weekend in 2010, Jimmy Smith and I were in Americus visiting my longtime friend, Angela Foster, and her son, Marlin, my God Son. (Jimmy and I were on our way to help with a Habitat RV Care-A-Vanner’s build in Florida.)
That Sunday, we were fortunate that the Carters where “home” and we would be able to attend his Sunday lesson. Part of what I took away from his comments on that November morning were the complex challenges we all, as caring individuals, face when deciding what actions to take–be they personal or political.
President Carter reminded us, that each one of us has been given a mind of our own to make our own judgements; and, as good citizens we need to made our thoughts known and take peaceful action.
These days I’m finding that I continue to learn from President Carter “peaceful action” on how to live a caring, good, productive life.
Read Jimmy Smith’s reflections on President Carter’s comments by clicking here and scrolling down to Nov. 14, 2010.
Photos: top: Former President Jimmy Carter teaching at Maranatha Baptist Church, 11/14/10 (Julianne G. Crane). Bottom from left: Jimmy Smith, Julianne Crane, President and Rosalynn Carter, Marlin Foster, Mercedes Russell, and Angela Foster.
President Carter is so underrated. He is one of the finest human beings we’ve ever had in that office. Unfortunately, all Presidents are to a very large degree at the mercy of global economic trends (and politics) while at the same time they have to deal with the repercussions of the actions of their predecessors. Jimmy has been unfairly judged by so many clueless individuals with their own stupid agendas.
I wish him nothing but the best.
Jimmy Carter is an amazing person. He walked his talk no matter what.
Whenever someone says that issues are complex and not simple I see that as a sign of maturity.
And when one says that we need to make personal decisions and translate them to action I am glad.
And to do this through peaceable action says to me that someone is sick and tired of war. Thank you for your comments!