Conversations with Carterby Revati Tongaonkar August 24 2017, 4:14 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 57 secs
Bill Gates, the man behind Windows, and one of the biggest philanthropists in the world, recently released a video of him and his wife Melinda Gate meeting former US president Jimmy Carter.
James Earl Carter was the 39th president of the United States, and a very efficient leader. A member of the Democratic Party, he is much respected and looked up to for his work after his term ended in 1981, teaching several topics at university, from political history, to creative writing, to nursing. He was also New York Time's bestselling author, with almost 30 titles to his name. He has been involved with numerous national and international policy decisions, human rights and charitable causes. In 1982, he established the Carter Centre, a non-profit non-governmental organisation to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering. It also works to improve global health through the control and eradication of diseases such as the Guinea worm disease, river blindness, and malaria among others. For his work at the Centre, Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2002 for his work to "find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
Bill and Melinda Gates, who call Jimmy Carter the 'master of the second act' are seen chatting up in the video with the former Governor of Georgia at the Foundation's annual employee meeting in Seattle.
Carter spoke about his experience of working with people suffering from the Guinea Worm Disease, saying that it was immensely inspiring to see the people, once they realize that they can be cured, to see how courageous, and hardworking, and dedicated they are, and that we tend to underestimate them sometimes because they suffer from poverty and depravation.
"One of the most gratifying things in life is to go to a village that had almost a third of the people in the village suffer from a disease; and go back a year later- zero Guinea worm", he said when talking about his work.
Carter, who lives in Georgia, was visited earlier by the Gates, and this meet-up was also talked of, with Bill Gates recounting the tale. Gates talked about Carter's book, Life at 90, where he mentioned Mary, a black woman that they met at his house. Mary was a prisoner for life, assigned by the prison bureau to take care of Carter. Mary was a fine handler, and so, when James got elected president, he got permission to be Mary's probation officer, and the Carters decided to take her over to the White House with them. Mary, Jimmy said, is family now, and every time they go for vacation, she is a part of the troupe, taking care of the entire family now.
James Carter completed 71 years of marriage in 2017, and he chose to share some pearls of wisdom with the Gates. In spite of being a Nonagenarian, Carter sounds extremely open-minded when he says 'There are some rules we follow. We give each other plenty of space. She has a lot of interests that I don't share and I have some that she doesn't. However there is one rule that we follow pretty meticulously, even if it sounds so difficult, and that is, not to go to sleep angry. We have a lot of arguments- we have 21 grandchildren, so we have a lot of arguments about family, but we try to get over that argument before we go to sleep."
Jimmy ended the talk teasing with a mention of his upcoming book, which, he says, is to be about faith.