I was fortunate to visit The Carter Center in Atlanta last week. I was there to help design a conference for journalists that will take place this summer to aid in the fight against stigma surrounding mental health and substance use disorders. The ground and the facility so inspired me. It was my first time.
I noticed immediately upon driving onto the land a shift of awareness. I knew I was on hallowed ground. The winding road flanked by greenery and a walkway was a gateway into a special place. Outside the executive offices, where I was headed, is a Japanese Peace Bell. This one hung in a temple in Hiroshima, Japan, until World War II when the government took most of the nation’s temple bells, including this one, to melt down for use in weaponry. This bell was one of very few that was not used that way and now serves as a symbol of peace at the Carter Center, donated by the Japanese government.
The interior offices are decorated with donated art from many sources, including Bob Dylan, Roy Lichtenstein, Bono, and Yoko Ono. Everywhere throughout the hallways are Andy Warhol prints. Warhol and Carter sign the one directly behind me in the picture above.
I was taken over by President Carter’s and his wife, Rossalyn’s spiritual callings. During my stay, I was fortunate to get a tour of the facility, including the conference room where mediation takes place and the profoundly impactful and large, interactive museum. As part of my work, it was an unexpected treat for me to tap into the tremendous spirit of our former presidential couple.
Are there any trips you want to take this week to enhance your spirit for your work in the world?
“Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent.”
– Jimmy Carter