The distance between Jimmy Carter and myself used to be one degree but now I will meet the former president and intrepret for him.
This August I will be going to Atlanta for my town as their interpreter. They do this every year but he does not (or cannot) always meet with those from my town. Though he makes an effort because his hometown and ours are sister cities.
Through this chance I have gain insight into Mr Carter’s peace activities. He became particularly active after his term in office. Habitat for Humanity is one group where he plays a major role. This group is about building housing for the less fortunate in the poorer nations in the world. This year the Jimmy Carter Work Project will be in India. His goals are admirable, but again I cannot always agree with them.
From a holistic viewpoint the very name “Habitat for Humanity” seems to shut out the rest of life on Earth. Sure humanity is important but so is the rest of the web of life – the biodiversity that we depend on for survival. So to me, peace activism should include peace with the animal kingdom as well. And this is a dimension in Mr Carter’s work that I feel is lacking.
So if I had one question I could ask him it would something about his view on the relationship between (human) peace and environmentalism. But, unfortunately as interpreter it will not be the place for this. I am very much looking forward in meeting him and I feel privileged to be interpreting for him and be a bridge to the people of my town.
2 thoughts on “Zero degrees of separation to Jimmy Carter”
Yes, helping your fellow human beings is important but so is caring for the environment. Don’t get me wrong. My point is too much emphasis is placed on human needs at the expense of the environment. And one simply has to be careful about this, Dharma or no Dharma.
habitat for humanity is meant to give low income families their own place to live. otherwise, they might have to live in shelters and/or be out on the streets. often these houses are built in communities where the land has already been malformed and desecreated (ie made into subutbd/urban areas), so not many resources will be torn and destroyed otherwise.
as i know you feel that caring for the environment is essential for living according the dharma, so is too helping your fellow human beings.