Atlanta, GA..Former President Jimmy Carter held a press conference this morning to deliver the news that his cancer has spread to his brain. He has four small melanoma lesions on his brain and begins his first radiation treatment this afternoon. He was upbeat, positive, honest and at times humorous
He announced he will be scaling back his schedule during the treatment and still hopes to make a Habitat For Humanity trip to Nepal in November. He did however he did acknowledge that his travel plans will be subject to his doctors orders and in God’s hands.
What struck me watching his press conference besides squirming for him at bit as he answered the usual awkward questions such as “How did you feel when you heard the diagnoses?” or “Did you ever think about not getting treatment?” was the example of the life of this 90 year old peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia.
I would bet a bag of peanuts that not fighting never even entered his mind. The decision to fight was probably automatic and that is part of the legacy of his life journey. Part of the same intestinal fortitude that will probably have him teaching Sunday School this Sunday.
Leaders really are made from tougher stuff than most of us. One doesn’t become President of the United States without drive and intestinal fortitude that sets you apart. He still regrets not rescuing our hostages in Iran and not earning a second term but he has taken that disappointment and turned his post presidential years into an amazing story.
He never has retired and has turned the Carter Center motto of “Waging Peace, Fighting Diseases, Building Hope” into an action plan. He has taken the access and influence that being a Former US President has and used that for causes he believes in.
Regardless of whether people agree or disagree with former President Carter he just fights on. Now win or lose he is embracing his next battle with a smile, God given grace and peace. Even at almost 91 he is still “In The Arena” and still swinging.
As another former US President Said
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Fight On, Jimmy, Fight On