Book/Movie Review

Ben Carson M.D.

Have you heard of Ben Carson, M.D.?  Although he is a New York Times best selling author, previous Professor of Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Oncology, and Pediatrics, and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, and finally, running for President of the United States and is Black, there is not a lot of coverage.  Why is that I wonder? Too conservative? Too modest?  Not loud, obnoxious and arrogant enough? Yes, I was referring to you Donald Trump. Oh, my! Don’t get me wrong, it is not my intent to use this article as a soapbox to promote him as the next President, I’m just perplexed as to why no one is making a big deal out of it.  Because if you’ve read his book (s), he’s pretty freaking fantastic.

Back to the point of this article.  I just finished reading his sixth (?) book, “You Have A Brain”.  Now don’t assume that because he’s a doctor that his book is ‘doctor speak’ of how a brain works.  It’s so much better!

This book takes exerpts of his own life story and applies them to our youth, our teenagers who could use a bit of inspiration, direction and motivation.  “YOU HAVE A BRAIN, A Teen’s Guide To T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G.”

I thought I could go into exactly why I was so inspired by this book but the inside jacket explains it much more simply than I can.

“Eight Principles that will change your outlook and might save your life. … Dr. Ben Carson may be a renowned Neurosurgeon and Humanitarian now, but growing up he never had it easy.  Abandonment by his father. The turbulance of life in inner-city Detroit. Being called stupid at school.  A violent temper….In every aspect, Ben’s circumstances seemed only to point to a harsher future and a bad end….But that’s not what happened. …Through gripping and inspiring stories, Ben illustrates how to T.H.I.N.K. B.I.G. – how to harness the power of Talent, Honesty, Insight, Niceness, Knowledge, Books, In-depth learning and God and find the inner strength you never knew you had. ..”

So the wonderfulness of this book is that it never becomes preachy or feels like a text book teaching you your ABC’s.  It is simply him telling the reader how he survived the roughness of where he came from in a positive, truely inspiring manner.  Example:

“When I was a child, I did not think my brain was capable of doing much of anything.  My classmates considered me the class dummy, and I saw no reason to debate their conclusion.  My mother however, always believed in me.  She knew I had a brain and she was convinced that  brain could be my ticket to a bigger, better world beyond our tiny home and life on the big city streets of Detroit. …And she was right.”

This was just an average kid, but by his mother’s strict rules and constant enouragement he kept making goals, moving forward and avoiding dangerous, stupid choices until he became someone of such character and success that he is a humanitarian as well as candidate for President of the United States.  And he did this all because he had a mom who believed in him, loved him enough to teach him to work.  Can you imagine how paradisical our world would be If we all had people in our lives like that?

Unfortunately, in the last chapter he writes about God and how his belief in God saved him from so many detrimental side-tracks.  I say ‘unfortunately’  not for his or our sake but because that means, his book wasn’t included in the teen section at Barnes and Noble, where it could be easily found by any confused/distracted soul looking for inspiration.  Rather it is placed in a much smaller section, some where out in no man’s land, titled, “Christianity”.  A one shelf section that very few people will actually seek out.

I would like to say that this book is great for teenagers, as it is intended, but, really, I found it inspirational in my own life where I am still clawing my way towards personal goals.  Truly, I believe it is great for every person imaginable: teens, adults, adults still trying to find their way, parenting, etc., etc.


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