Humanities › History & Culture Rosalynn Carter Quotes Rosalynn Carter (1927 - ) Share Flipboard Email Print Portrait of Rosalynn Smith Carter by George Augusta, 1984. Courtesy White House History & Culture Women's History Important Figures History Of Feminism Key Events Women's Suffrage Women & War Laws & Womens Rights Feminism & Pop Culture Feminist Texts American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century View More By Jone Johnson Lewis Women's History Writer B.A., Mundelein College M.Div., Meadville/Lombard Theological School Jone Johnson Lewis is a women's history writer who has been involved with the women's movement since the late 1960s. She is a former faculty member of the Humanist Institute. our editorial process Jone Johnson Lewis Updated March 18, 2017 Rosalynn Carter, US First Lady 1977-1981, was an active campaigner for her husband, and an advisor and consultant to him. She managed the family business during much of his political career. Her focus as First Lady was mental health reform. Selected Rosalynn Carter Quotations • Do what you can to show you care about other people, and you will make our world a better place. • If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can't accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through. • A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be. • Times of upheaval require not just more leadership but more leaders. People at all organizational levels, whether anointed or self-appointed, must be empowered to share leadership responsibilities. • There is clearly much left to be done, and whatever else we are going to do, we had better get on with it. • I think I am the person closest to the President of the United States, and if I can help him understand the countries of the world, then that's what I intend to do. • I had already learned from more than a decade of political life that I was going to be criticized no matter what I did, so I might as well be criticized for something I wanted to do. • Jimmy will let me assume as much responsibility as I will.... Jimmy has always said that we -- the children and myself -- can do anything. • Jimmy's sister Ruth was my best friend and she had a picture of him on the wall in her bedroom. I just thought he was the most handsome young man I'd ever seen. One day I confessed to her that I wished she let me take that photograph home. Because I just thought I had fallen in love with Jimmy Carter. • (About her husband's naval service when he was away at sea) I learned to be very independent. I could take care of myself and the baby and do things that I never dreamed I would be able to do alone. • (About her role in the family's peanut and warehouse business) He asked me to come and keep the office. And I had a friend who had taught an accounting course in the vocational technical school and she gave me a set of accounting books. I began to study accounting. I began to keep the books. And it was not too long before I knew actually as much or more about the business on paper than he did. • There was no way I could understand our defeat. I had to grieve over our loss before I could look to the future. Where could our lives possibly be as meaningful as they might have been in the White House? • If we have not achieved our early dreams, we must either find new ones or see what we can salvage from the old. If we have accomplished what we set out to do in our youth, we need not weep like Alexander the Great that we have no more worlds to conquer. • You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don't win, at least you can be satisfied that you've tried. If you don't accept failure as a possibility, you don't set high goals, and you don't branch out, you don't try -- you don't take the risk. • Don't worry about polls, but if you do, don't admit it. • Informed journalists can have a significant impact on public understanding of mental health issues, as they shape debate and trends with the words and pictures they convey.... They influence their peers and stimulate discussion among the general public, and an informed public can reduce stigma and discrimination. • There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home. • (President Jimmy Carter about Rosalynn Carter) There's very seldom a decision that I make that I don't discuss with -- either to tell her after the fact what I've done, or, very frequently, to tell her my options and seek her advice.