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Jimmy Carter

Former US President Jimmy Carter continues to amaze, as he grows and thinks and shares his wisdom and works to help other people. From his 2002 Nobel Peace Prize lecture:

... I thought often during my years in the White House of an admonition that we received in our small school in Plains, Georgia, from a beloved teacher, Miss Julia Coleman. She often said: "We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles."

When I was a young boy, this same teacher also introduced me to Leo Tolstoy's novel, War and Peace. She interpreted that powerful narrative as a reminder that the simple human attributes of goodness and truth can overcome great power. She also taught us that an individual is not swept along on a tide of inevitability but can influence even the greatest human events.

These premises have been proven by the lives of many heroes, some of whose names were little known outside their own regions until they became Nobel laureates: Albert John Lutuli, Norman Borlaug, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, Aung San Suu Kyi, Jody Williams and even Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa. All of these and others have proven that even without government power — and often in opposition to it — individuals can enhance human rights and wage peace, actively and effectively.

The Nobel prize also profoundly magnified the inspiring global influence of Martin Luther King, Jr., the greatest leader that my native state has ever produced. On a personal note, it is unlikely that my political career beyond Georgia would have been possible without the changes brought about by the civil rights movement in the American south and throughout our nation.

On the steps of our memorial to Abraham Lincoln, Dr. King said: "I have a dream that on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood."

The scourge of racism has not been vanquished, either in the red hills of our state or around the world. And yet we see ever more frequent manifestations of his dream of racial healing. In a symbolic but very genuine way, at least involving two Georgians, it is coming true in Oslo today. ...

And just a few weeks ago, in Nicholas Kristof's column "President Carter, Am I a Christian?", Carter responded to questions with:

My belief in the resurrection of Jesus comes from my Christian faith, and not from any need for scientific proof. I derive a great personal benefit from the totality of this belief, which comes naturally to me.

...

I do not judge whether someone else is a Christian. Jesus said, "Judge not, ...". I try to apply the teachings of Jesus in my own life, often without success.

...

For me, prayer helps internally, as a private conversation with my creator, who knows everything and can do anything. If I were an amputee, my prayer would be to help me make the best of my condition, to be a good follower of the perfect example set by Jesus Christ and to be thankful for life, freedom and opportunities to be a blessing to others. We are monitoring the status of cancer in my liver and brain, and my prayers are similar to this.

(cf. An Hour Before Daylight (2004-05-25), ...) - ^z - 2017-04-27