Best Selling Author, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made this Nation Great (2012)
Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery & Professor of Neurosurgery,
Plastic Surgery, Oncology, and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University
Serves on the corporate boards of the Kellogg Company
Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom (2008)
His life story was featured in the documentary Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson story with Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. (2009)
Co-founder Carson Scholars Fund
Married to Candy, Three Grown Sons
Degree in Psychology from Yale University
Medical degree from University of Michigan School of Medicine
Dr. Ben Carson: America the Beautiful
The 700 Club
PHYSICIANS AND GOVERNMENT
Dr. Carson believes it is a good idea for physicians, engineers, scientists and others who are trained to make decisions based on facts rather than emotion to get involved in the political arena and help guide our country. Historically, physicians were more involved in their communities and with governance in general. Five physicians signed the Declaration of Independence, and many of them were involved with the creation of the United States Constitution. These individuals tend to be excellent with numbers, very concerned about the welfare of others, and accustomed to hard work. In recent years, physicians spend their time in the operating rooms and scientists spend their time in laboratories. The governance of our nation is left to others. “We should be concerned not only about the health of individual patients, but also the health of our entire society,” shares Dr. Carson. “Since those in the healthcare professions are among the most highly trained people in our society (a typical physician spends an average of over five years in postgraduate training), we should be willing to share the benefits of our education and critical thinking with the society that made it possible.”
A SOLID FOUNDATION
Dr. Carson believes as a nation, America has been favored by God because we have acknowledged Him. The forefathers of our nation were clearly guided by Sovereign leadership when they knelt and prayed for wisdom at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Together they stood up and assembled a seventeen page document known as the Constitution of the United States of America. Our nation was founded on principles revealed to us in the Bible by a righteous and just God. These teachings began in the home and continued at school. In early public schools reading from the Bible was not only common, it was expected.
Children were taught that there was a Creator to whom they were responsible and that there was a moral code given to us by the Creator to whom we should all have to answer in the afterlife. Today the forces of political correctness are trying to erode our values by attempting to push God out of our lives. Prayer is not allowed in public schools. Many people are afraid to say “Merry Christmas” because it contains the word Christ. Dr. Carson says it is our job to stand up and be counted. We can no longer be passive. He says we should not be ashamed of our faith, and we certainly should not allow those who believe differently to change who we are in order to be politically correct. “If they do not wish to accept the godly principles that we choose to live by, we should make no attempt to force them, but by no stretch of the imagination should we allow them to force their beliefs on us,” reveals Dr. Carson. He says for America to remain a pinnacle nation we must stop being political and start being logical; apply godly values and principles to govern our lives; and develop our God given talents so we become valuable to those around us.
LEARNING FROM MISTAKES
Dr. Carson admits he has experienced his share of mistakes growing up. The racial and socio-economic injustice he experienced as a boy fueled his anger and frustration. He began to retaliate by going after people with baseball bats, rocks, and knives. One day a boy pushed Dr. Carson too far so he pulled out his knife and lunged at him. The knife hit the boy’s belt buckle and snapped it in two. Although he was only fourteen at the time, Dr. Carson knew if the belt buckle had not of stopped the knife blade he could have killed or seriously injured the boy. Dr. Carson ran into the bathroom and pleaded with God to remove his temper. God gave Dr. Carson a new perspective on life that day and answered his prayer. Since that day Dr. Carson says he has never had another angry outburst of uncontrollable temper. He credits much of his success in life as a result of learning from his mistakes.
He says America can learn from its mistakes too. One of the biggest mistakes America made was allowing the practice of slavery. “I hope we learned that all men are indeed created equal, and that given proper opportunities not only can they improve their personal lot in life, but through the development of their intellect they can make substantial contributions to society at large,” says Dr. Carson. Another mistake made by our nation is allowing the government to become too large and not controlling the size of our national deficit. The founding fathers of America did not agree with excessive taxation to redistribute wealth. Thomas Jefferson made it clear that the accumulation of huge debt by the government is not only unacceptable, but dangerous to the preservation of our nation.
America’s founding fathers believed in educating the populace for the good of the nation’s health. A solid education is essential to the health of our nation. They believed that education is crucial to offering checks and balances to governing leaders’ powers. The solid education system established in the American colonies centuries ago was largely responsible for our nation’s rapid rise on the world stage in the areas of economics, innovation, and industry.
Through education, Dr. Carson says he was completely changed to become a productive citizen of the world. “God has opened many doors of opportunity throughout my lifetime, but I believe the greatest of those doors was allowing me to be born in the United States of America,” shares Dr. Carson. He grew up in inner city Detroit in a single parent home with dire poverty, poor grades, a bad temper, and low self-esteem. His mother, with only a third-grade education, challenged her sons to strive for excellence. Dr. Carson persevered and today is a full professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, where he has directed pediatric neurosurgery for nearly a quarter of a century. He says God can take people from any circumstances and "make them into anything." He cites his life as living proof of one's ability to overcome obstacles, with determination and the help of and faith in God. His personal relationship with God developed through his association with the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which his mother joined shortly after her divorce, when Dr. Carson was eight-years- old. Today, he and his family are active members of the church. Dr. Carson prays and reads the Bible every day, praying as well before every surgery. God, he says, seeks to empower human beings. To know God's will, and benefit from his guidance, one must enter into a relationship with Him. In interviews with the media, in his books, and before audiences, he thanks and praises God for his abilities to help children and their families. His hand-eye coordination, essential for a brain surgeon, is a gift from God, but one he was fortunate to discover and develop. “Every person is endowed with God-given abilities, and we must cultivate every once of talent we have in order to maintain our pinnacle position in the world,” shares Dr. Carson.
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