Sunday, March 16, 2014

Gifted Hands, The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson

Gifted Hands, The Ben Carson Story by Ben Carson
I watched the movie Gifted Hands on TV recently so checked at my library for the DVD and also found the paperback book.

I read this book in one day. What a story about a man who we now see on TV quite a bit.
At the age of 33 Dr. Ben Carson became the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Carson's mother, Sonya, is such an influence on both Dr. Carson and his brother, Curtis. She is one mother we all should admire for her dedication and hard work for her sons. At one point, she turned off the TV and told the boys they could watch three shows a week and also had to read two library books a week. That is tough love.
Sometimes, she worked two or three jobs at a time. Since this book was written in 1990, I will do some more checking on her.

There are also pictures in the book and one I especially like is a proud mother holding pictures of her sons who have graduated. Sonya Carson only completed third grade.
I knew some about Dr. Carson but this book gives so much information about why his father left, his school years, his problems with studies and school, problems because of his race, his temper, his successes, his faith in God and his family. This is an emotional read with death of family and patients.

Chapters are written on some of patients and the surgeries performed on them such as patients who had seizures.

Description of surgeries are sometimes pretty clear and there is also some drawing of the heads of the twins that were separated.  Dr. Carson was the first doctor to separate Siamese, conjoined, twins that were attached at the head. It took 22 hours and a staff of 70 to do the surgery and they had practiced for over five months on how to do the procedure. It was a success.

A letter from Sonya Carson at the beginning of the book is short but sends a strong message. She often quoted a poem, "You're the Captain of Your Ship" to her sons:
If things go bad for you-
And make you a bit ashamed,
Often you will find out that
You have yourself to blame...

Swiftly we ran to mischief
And then the bad luck came.
Why do we fault others?
We have ourselves to blame...

Whatever happens to us,
Here are the words to say,
"Had it not been for so-and-so
Things wouldn't have gone that way".

And if you are short of friends,
I'll tell you what to do-
Make and examination,
You'll find that fault's in you...

You're the captain of your ship,
So agree with the same-
If you travel downward,
You have yourself to blame.

She also writes " Remember this as you go through life . The person who has the most do with what happens to you is you!.

The following paragraphs beginning with **  and ending with **  are from the book:
** "What's the key to your success?' the teenage boy with the Afro asked.
It wasn't a new question. I'd heard it so many times that I finally worked out an acrostic answer .
"Think big," I told him.

I'd like to break this down and explain the meaning of each letter.
Learn to recognize and accept your God-given talents (and we all have them). Develop those talents and use them in the career you choose. Remembering T for talent puts you far ahead of the game if you take advantage of what God gives you.
T also= TIME
Learn the importance of time. When you are always on time, people can depend on you. You prove your trustworthiness. Learn not to waste time, because time is money and time is effort. Time usage is also a talent. God gives some people the ability to manage time. The rest of us have to learn how and we can!
Don't go around with a long face, expecting something bad to happen. Appreciate good things; watch for them.
When you do anything dishonest, you must do something else dishonest to cover up, and your life becomes hopelessly complex. The same with telling lies. If you're honest, you don't have to remember what you said the last time. Speaking the truth each time makes life amazing simple.
Listen and learn from people who have already been where you want to go. Benefit from their mistakes instead of repeating them. Read good books like the Bible because they open up new worlds of understanding.
Be nice to people-all people. If you're  nice to people, they'll be nice to you. It takes much less energy to be nice than it does to be mean. Being kind, friendly, and helpful
takes less energy and relieves much of the pressure.
Knowledge is the key to independent living, the key to all your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. If you are knowledgeable, particularly more knowledgeable than anyone else in the field, you become invaluable and write your own ticket.
I emphasize that active learning from reading is better than passive learning such as listening to lectures or watching television. When you read, your mind must work by taking in letters and connecting them to form words. Words make themselves into thoughts and concepts.
Developing good reading habits is something like being a champion weightlifter. The champion didn't go into the gym one day and start lifting 500 pounds. He toned his muscles, beginning with lighter weights, always building up, preparing for more. It's the same thing with intellectual feats. We develop our minds by reading, by thinking, by figuring out things for ourselves.
Superficial learners cram for exams but know nothing two weeks later. In-depth learners find that the acquired knowledge becomes part of them. They understand  more about themselves and their world. They keep building on prior understanding by piling on new information.
Never get too big for God. Never drop God out of your life.

"I usually conclude my talks by telling young people, "If you can remember these things, if you can learn to THINK BIG, nothing on earth will keep you from being successful in whatever you choose to do."
"To THINK BIG and to use our talents doesn't mean we won't have difficulties along the way. We will-we all do".
"I'm a good neurosurgeon. That's not a boast but a way of acknowledging the innate ability God has given to me. Beginning with determination and using my gifted hands, I went on for training and sharpening of my skills. **

I will give this book a 5 star. I learned a lot about man, his family and his wife Candy. They have three children.
A book young people should read and understand they also have God- given talent.
I found more information on :
Leona Olson

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