Sharing Good Times

Sharing Good Times

Carter200Simply stated, I admire Jimmy Carter a great deal; for his character, ideals, faith, and for the work that he has done in the 25 years since he left the presidency. If you haven’t read Douglas Brinkley’s wonderful book, The Unfinished Presidency, you should. It paints a picture of a man devoted to public service.

President Carter has a new book, called Sharing Good Times. Perhaps you saw him speak with Charlie Rose last night? A wonderful interview. Here is an excerpt from his new book from a post on NPR.

“In the past, I have written about history, political science, religion, the technique of negotiation, outdoor experiences, a novel about the Revolutionary War, a book of poetry, and a presidential memoir — all fairly serious subjects. This book is about the more challenging, relaxing, and enjoyable experiences that I have known — both at work and at play. I have described personal hobbies, excursions to exotic places, political campaigns, volunteer work, fishing, skiing, climbing mountains, baseball, family vacations, and simply relaxed days and nights with little to do except exchange memories and ideas with family and friends across the years and across generations.

“Few of these adventures have been especially newsworthy, and I still enjoy some of them in solitude, but the main lesson I have struggled to learn is that the experiences are more deep and lasting sources of pleasure when they are shared with others.

“It has not been easy for me to accept this fact. Perhaps like most other people, I have had to overcome a self-centered inclination to live on my own terms, sometimes obsessed with intense ambition, bringing others into the private recesses of my life only reluctantly. I’ve come to realize that even my loved ones and I could enjoy the same event without really sharing the essence of it, and that it takes a lot of effort to sense and accommodate the desires of others in a generous way. This lifetime of learning has paid rich dividends, for me and for those with whom I have learned to really share.

“I hope that these personal experiences will prove to be a practical and inspirational guide to anyone desiring to stretch mind and heart, to combine work and pleasure, and to reach out to others.”