Ben Carson came to town [Ft. Smith, Ark.] last Friday. Some of you are probably asking, â€śwho the heck is Ben Carson?â€ť Ben Carson, a man who could have been trapped by his environment, believes passionately in the promise of America and the American dream. He was here to tell his story.
Growing up in a single parent home, Carson experienced poverty, poor grades, temper issues and low self esteem. However, Carson had a dream of becoming a physician and his mother, who had only a third-grade education, challenged and required her sons to strive for excellence.
Dr. Ben Carson retired last month as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the esteemed John Hopkins Childrenâ€™s Center. Carson was the first â€” and only successful â€” physician to perform a separation of conjoined [Siamese] twins at the back of the head, first successful separation of type-2 vertical twins and first successful placement of an intrauterine shunt in conjoined twins. Impressive, wouldnâ€™t you say?
With five books to his credit, an award winning movie entitled â€śGifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,â€ť starring Cuba Gooding Jr., and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, Carson has experienced the American dream.
But, there is more to the story. Carson has become a national news story with his criticism of the Presidentâ€™s health care plan.
Some of you will remember an uncomfortable President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, when a soft-spoken, articulate gentleman, was given his opportunity to speak and told America of problems in the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] and the shallowness of those who tried to silence dissenting voices.
Carson has been proved right. Obamacare has become a nightmare for the president and country. Nancy Pelosi was the only person telling us the truth when she said â€śweâ€™ll have to pass the bill to see whatâ€™s in it.â€ť Today, we have Harry Reed touting the Affordable Care Act as a stepping stone for a single-payer, government-run insurance program â€” aka socialized medicine.
But, Carson was not here to gloat or rail against Obamacare. Carson believes too many Americans have become dependent on government aid, have become at ease with a failed education system and are misguided with respect to celebrity idolatry.
Carson, a black man who grew up on the tough streets of Detroit, told the story of a boy who learned at an early age that only he â€” not the government â€” and the decisions he made would shape his future. His mom saw to it that he remained focused to reach his goals.
I believe Carson was telling us we must fix ourselves before we can fix our government. Individual responsibility, quality education and role models with character are a starting point to reshape our thought processes in an upside down world. And, I believe Carson also would tell us to pray hard.
Dewey Harrison of Poteau is retired educator from the Pocola School system. He is also a tea party supporter, occasional fisherman and perpetual pessimist about the current state of affairs. To contact Harrison email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.