Our Wise Elder – A Lesson from Jimmy Carter
“I have had a wonderful life…and I am placing my fate in God’s hands,” former President Jimmy Carter
told the nation at a press conference on a steamy August day in the south. Already an honored senior
statesman thanks to his direction of the Carter Center – which is renowned the world over for its
advocacy of human rights and democracy and earned him the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize — Carter gave a
statement that day which emblazoned itself into the American consciousness as truly heroic.
Yet this evolution into statesmanship came after a rocky presidency.
Like many Americans, I remember the scathing economy under President Carter, the oil shortages and
high prices and ultimately the Iranian hostage crisis and botched rescue. Yet the President so
humiliated by his ultimate defeat in his run for a second term, has become a moral giant in his battle
against a melanoma that has spread to his liver and now his brain.
Now 90, Carter displayed humility, humor, gratitude and amazing wisdom in accepting the diagnosis
and remarking “I’m ready for anything and I’m looking forward to a new adventure.’
According to a story filed by CNN, Carter described his partner Rosalynn, the former First Lady as the
“pinnacle” of his life for 69 years now. Thank you, Mr. Carter, for showing us what grace looks like in the
face of a horrific medical situation. That is true leadership.