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Living to the Fullest

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to attend the Maverick session Everything to Gain: A Conversation with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.   This was a chance to hear what President Carter and his wife have been doing since he left office over twenty years ago.  The conversation was moderated by Allan Gregg from TVO; it was also taped so that it can be aired at a later date on said station.

Where does one begin to describe all that the Carters have been able to accomplish?  Well, the most important thing would be to mention the Carter Centre. They founded the Centre soon after Carter was "forced to retire from office" in the 80's.  The Centre was to function like a "mini-Camp David."  It was meant to assist other governments with conflict resolution.  In the last few years, however, the Centre has focused more on health care, including mental health.  Their centre also sponsors Habitat for Humanity and the Carters take one week per year to help build homes somewhere in the world, where they're needed.

When Mr. Gregg asked them how they see their lives now, Mrs. Carter said  "It's a good life."  President Carter shared the sentiment, "We have an exciting, challenging, unpredictable life."  Talk about enjoying every moment.  It was evident that both Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter lead fulfilling lives; the smiles on their faces were enough to understand this. The Carters will continue on their humanitarian work because it is what makes them happiest, besides fly fishing, of course.

The conversation involved other topics like politics during Carter's presidency as well as those of today.  Carter mentioned that "fundamentalism has infiltrated US politics and other religions of the world."  He is concerned that America  is isolated politically from the rest of the world. 

After the discussion, President Carter took time to meet some of his fans outside the Ryerson theatre (shown here).  He was happy to sign autographs, shake hands with them and just share in the moment.  It is no surprise why so many find him to be such a charismatic individual.

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