When she was 68 years old, Jimmy Carter’s mother joined the Peace Corps. She asked to be sent somewhere far away where they could use a nurse’s help, and she ended up in India for 21 months. She had spent nearly all of her life on a small farm in rural Georgia…and now she was thousands of miles away in the most foreign of lands, volunteering, serving others.
We’ve talked before about showing our kids that it’s never too late–and in this simple, selfless decision, Lillian Carter showed that in so many ways. She was showing them that we’re never too old to make a positive difference in the world, to be of service. That we’re never too old to take risks or to step outside our comfort zone. But more expressively, she showed them that it’s never too old to follow a dream. As she wrote home, “If I had one wish for my children, it would be that each of you dare to do the things…that have meaning for you as individuals…but not worrying if you don’t please everyone.”
All of us say stuff like that to our kids, but are we proving it? Are we showing them that we actually mean it? We must. Not only for their sake, but for the world, which is better off by having those dreams fulfilled–especially the selfless and generous ones.