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One Nation, by Ben Carson, M.D. - Book Review
Ben Carson is not afraid to speak his mind. In fact, he begins his book saying that Americans have been lulled into quiet compliance through political correctness which has stifled our dialogue rather than open the doors to communication and exchange of knowledge. He says, "If we don't have enough basic information to manage our lives, we will give up our freedoms to those who promise to take care of us."
Expanding on the adage that knowledge is power, Dr. Carson implores that we go beyond pure knowledge saying "the wise use of knowledge is more important than knowledge itself." He believes that we need to "act like mature adults who can tolerate hearing something about which we disagree and still remain civil and open-minded."
Civil Rights Issues in the 1960s
He feels more emphasis is placed on sports and athletes than on the value of a good education. We see this in the comparison of teacher's salaries. Those who shape the minds of future generations, are paid a pittance compared to the cost to the multi-million dollar stadiums where all star high school athletes compete for trophies. He mentions that few schools have a showcase full of trophies for nerds.
Ben Carson acknowledges that he fell into the category of nerd when he was a student, carrying a slide ruler in a holder on his belt. But that was not always his chosen path. His beginnings were typical of those raised in dire poverty. He tells stories of when he had a horrible temper and poor self-esteem.
Things weren't always bright for Ben Carson, whose beginnings were typical of those raised in dire poverty. He admits to having a horrible temper and poor self-esteem. He began life in an impoverished neighborhood of Detroit, one of two sons to a woman who married at the young age of thirteen. Ben's mother, although educated formally only to the third grade, was a woman of great wisdom.
It was through her efforts that young Ben learned the value of reading. Despite the family's limited means, Ben's mother ensured that he would gain a world view through study. Her requirement to her sons was that they would read two books a week. She enforced this strict guideline by having them submit a handwritten book report to her, which she would summarily mark up and review. Ben and his brother were raised in the volatile era of the sixties, a time of great upheaval and unrest in a changing world which added to the family's difficulties.
Johns Hopkins Hospital Complex
Dr. Carson is a retired Neurosurgeon whose many accomplishments include successful separation of conjoined twins and other medical feats that defy the imagination. He's a graduate of Yale University, former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, widely regarded as one of the world's greatest hospitals 1.
He retired following a distinguished career as a doctor, a professor and surgeon to pursue other interests. He's been married to the same woman, Candy Carson, for nearly forty years and has three sons.
Ben Carson, MD
Like most successful people, Doctor Carson recommends that people start with education to advance our situation. He suggests that we've lost our way in schools that cater to teaching to the standardized testing rather than impart the wisdom of those who led the way.
He talks about the value of his own education, obtained at great sacrifice, and speaks about what he attained through his various jobs he held while putting himself through college. He shares a lesson learned in how to motivate people who are not interested in working, something he learned as a supervisor for a highway cleanup crew. He put this information to use and dramatically improved the productivity of his team.
He talks about the problems of long term government dependency and the derailment of the working class which has been promulgated through the subsidization of able-bodied workers. He speaks to the issues of minimum wage and of the responsibility of families toward each other, including the elderly and the disabled. He talks about the role of government and the problems of government dependency. He reminds us about our spending policies and the enormous US debt that will serve to sabotage our children's futures.
He believes our nation would do well to return to the values imbued by our forefathers as they formed our nation including a return to God who governs our outcome. What does a neurosurgeon know about government? He reminds us that our founding fathers included five doctors whose opinions contributed to the establishment of our new nation.
He's not afraid to speak about his beliefs and has done so recently in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast in February 2013.
Speech at National Prayer Breakfast February 2013
He talks about our compassion for the poor and says our policies "should mean providing a mechanism to escape poverty rather than simply maintaining people in an impoverished state by providing handouts". He claims this is a mechanism of manipulators, whose ultimate intent in these kind of programs is to gain a huge block voters who, although they fail to contribute to the collective tax revenue base, continue to have a say in how much taxes others need to pay.
He's not afraid to quote the Bible and God's words of wisdom for us through the ages. In fact, he was criticized for his stand on the definition of marriage and for statements he made about his beliefs. Dr. Carson says we need to move beyond the personal attacks that are made in retribution for speaking about our beliefs. He claims that the opposition shows the weakness of their argument when they launch into personal attacks on someone's character rather than support their side of the argument with facts.
Ben Carson is an outspoken leader, whose ideas are worth considering, even if we don't buy into all of his recommended solutions. He proposes direction and action on the part of each of us, rather than leave our futures in the hands of those whose plan for us feels more like slavery than freedom.
Ben Carson's Humor
How Can We Fix America?
Ben Carson believes that studying the track record of people running for office is more valuable than voting for someone because their name sounds familiar. He challenges us as Americans to:
- Learn a new fact about American history each day for a month.
- Replace television and Internet surfing with reading.
- Learn the names of our state and government representatives and research their voting records.
- Study various media and news report outlets to determine if the facts are real or spun.
- Ask an older and wiser person for his or her perspective on a controversial issue.
- Identify a member of an elite class and ask how they would recommend that you assist those stuck in poverty.
Dr. Carson advocates a return of our nation to a "place where our public education system is the envy of the world". He believes that with "improvements in education, combined with wisdom and knowledge" our country will turn around.
Have you heard of Ben Carson, MD?
© 2014 Peg Cole