A Habitat for Humanity – a reprise on the Carter legacy

Jimmy Carter just celebrated his 97th birthday on Friday. The following is an encore presentation of a tribute to Carter’s legacy, especially with Habitat for Humanity.

There are strong opinions about who might be the most impactful US president. But, there should be less debate on the most impactful ex-president. In the view of many, that would be James Earl Carter, better known as Jimmy.

With Rosalynn, his wife of 73 years by his side, the 95 year-old Carter is out there with hammer and drill building houses for Habitat for Humanity. As a non-profit Board volunteer, I believe the Habitat model, embraced by Carter, is a sound model, based on sweat equity. Having helped build one house with my co-workers, I can attest to the “sweat” part, as never have I been more tired at the end of the day.

Not only does the home owner have to help build his or her house, he or she has to help other home owners build their houses. But, another famous couple is building on the Carter Habitat legacy. You may have heard of them – country singers Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. They hope to carry the hammer and drill forward after the Carters can no longer do it. Yet, the older couple are still out their hammering away, even after falls, hospital stays, etc.

Yet, that is not all of what Carter does. He still teaches Sunday school, which is so well attended, it was moved to the church sanctuary. He has also written about thirty books – I have read a couple, one on his upbringing and one on addressing the maltreatment of women in the US and world. His and Rosalynn’s “Carter Center” has helped to eradicate guinea worm disease in many places around the globe. And, Carter has been asked by several presidents to be an envoy to certain countries to represent our interests be it for state funerals or to elicit the release of an American in custody.

To be frank, his presidency is not given sufficient credit as he served one term as an outsider. To my surprise, I read that a significant number of bills were signed into law on his watch, but that is not well known. But, it is clear, he has been a much more impactful former president. He will be missed when he is gone.

Let’s celebrate them while he and Rosalynn are with us. A good way to do so, is to sing a Peter, Paul and Mary song, “If I had a hammer, I’d swing it in the morning, I’d swing it in the evening all over this land….”

16 thoughts on “A Habitat for Humanity – a reprise on the Carter legacy

      • I am already sending a parallel of Biden’s first year with Carter in 1977, as the honeymoon period also ended in September with the “scandal” involving Bert Lance. President Biden had the misfortune of ending a war that was initiated by Bush/Cheney in October of 2001 instead of a cabinet member’s unorthodox banking practices in Calhoun, Georgia. 🇺🇸🏦🇺🇸🇦🇫🤔

      • Paul, I think Carter did not get a fair chance from the outset. Yet, his handling of a couple of issues could have been better, in particular the no win hostage crisis. Biden hurt himself with the poor exit from Afghanistan. His selling point was more competence and he gave that argument back. Keith

      • The media was brutal with JC in wanting to prove they could be as tough with a Democrat as Richard Nixon. It is good to see Biden spending on the middle class with his budget in comparison with Carter who was austere(fiscally conservative) during a time of high inflation. Regardless, the return of Trump in 2025 would be worse than St. Raygun’s landslide in 1980…and 1984! 🤡👎

      • True. The most recent former president should be held accountable for his seditious and divisive actions. America is far worse because of his voice being heeded. He has been for some time now the greatest threat to our democracy. Keith

  1. Jimmy Carter’s presidency was an eye-opener for me. I was young and dewy-eyed about the possibilities. Unfortunately, his goals were interrupted by world affairs and by the ugliness of politics. From that, I learned to be wary of politicians leaning too far out of the middle lane. In my opinion, he has made up for many times over, the failings of his 4 years in office by what he has done since. He models the potential in each of us to be the best human beings we can be. Too bad more of us fail to live up to his shining example.

  2. Note to Readers: If you have a work, religious, or some group, building a Habitat for Humanity house is immensely rewarding. We had a work group of about sixteen, about 1/2 male and 1/2 female. If you can swing a hammer, you can help. They usually have a couple of project managers to help guide the volunteers. It is a tiring, but quite rewarding day.

  3. Note to Readers: One of the things that opened some eyes is Carter put solar panels on the White House. I thought that was cool, but Ronald Reagan took them down. Carter was a navy trained engineer, so he was ahead of his time. Think where we might be if those panels had remained and replaced with better panels over the years.

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