Carter is one of my heroes. I don’t know if it would be accurate to say he was our greatest president, but I have no doubt that he is the finest human being ever to have been president of the US. He embodies compassion. Carter pulled his head out of the place where most Americans keep their heads and identified dozens of places around the world where he could make a real measurable difference in human suffering. Imagine if more people did the same. Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
“In every case when I thought I was doing somebody else a favor by building a house or something like that, I found that I got a lot more out of it than I put into it.”
Q: President Carter, what initially inspired you to become involved in humanitarian issues?
A: When I became a state senator, then later governor and ultimately president, I realized that all public officials have a great responsibility and duty to analyze the needs of the people that they have been elected to serve.
When I was a state senator, we were still in the midst of 100 years of racial segregation in this country, based on the fact that we were supposed to have separate but equal facilities. I saw in my own early life the need for equality of treatment between black and white American citizens; that was the first introduction I had to alleviating suffering and discrimination and giving people some hope that their lives would be equal to others as citizens of this country.