Recently my book group read Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, and I was inspired to work hard and be better. The autobiography (well, he had help from Cecil Murphey, but I don’t know if that makes it a biography and not “auto”) tells the story of how the son of a single mother who struggled with poverty and inner-city life became one of our most successful and celebrated neurosurgeons.
An easy read, this book is motivating for youth as well as their parents. Dr. Carson describes his memories of growing up, his family, his mother’s love and determination, and his personal challenges and battle with his temper and selfishness. He shares his realization of the importance of hard work, the joy in helping others, and the acknowledgement of God’s hand in his life.
For years he has been in great demand to speak in many venues, often to young people. He likes to share his acronym for success: THINK BIG. Of course the book explains it better, but here is a brief summary:
T=Talent. Learn to recognize and accept your God-given talents.
T=also Time. Be on time and do not waste time.
H=Hope. Anticipate good things and watch for them
I=Insight. Learn from others’ knowledge and mistakes.
N=Nice. Be nice to all people.
K=Knowledge. Being knowledgeable makes you invaluable.
I=In-depth Learning. Not superficial.
G=God. Never get too big for God.
Though famous for his work as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Carson has lately been in the media for other reasons. He recently spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, which you can watch below.
I like his opening, when he addresses “distinguished guests, which includes everybody.” I think he means all of us. While keeping out of party politics, he makes some interesting observations about education, health care, and the economy.