He was poor, born in Detroit, and raised by a divorced mother who had only a third grade education. Most people would have predicted he was destined for a life of poverty and low-paying jobs. But Ben Carson had two things going for him: a God who loved him, and an encouraging mother.
Ben’s childhood was a struggle. His mother had to work multiple jobs to put food on the table for Ben and his brother Curtis. His eyesight was terrible. In school, he was looked down on and ridiculed. Most teachers really didn’t expect him to do well academically. The racial prejudice of the 1960’s made the school years even worse. By his teen years, Ben had developed a bad temper and had trouble controlling himself.
How on earth did this young man become an internationally-known pediatric neurosurgeon, the first to be able to separate Siamese twins joined at the head without either dying? You need to read it for yourself, in Ben’s own words. This book is full of evidence that the love and care of the God who made us, and a parent who sticks by us, can overcome any obstacle.
Mother had already decided how we would spend our free time when we weren’t watching television.“You boys are going to go to the library and check out books. You’re going to read at least two books every week. At the end of each week you’ll give me a report on what you’ve read.”
That rule sounded impossible. Two books? I had never read a whole book in my life, except those they made us read in school. I couldn’t believe I could ever finish one whole book in a short week.
But a day or two later found Curtis and me dragging our feet the seven blocks from home to the public library. We grumbled and complained, making the journey seem endless. But Mother had spoken, and it didn’t occur to either of us to disobey. The reason? We respected her. We knew she meant business and knew we’d better mind. But, most important, we loved her.
“Bennie,” she said again and again, “if you can read, honey, you can learn just about anything you want to know. The doors of the world are open to people who can read. And my boys are going to be successful in life, because they’re going to be the best readers in the school.”