However, I have to wonder, should the study of studying be limited to memorization? Obviously, not. No one can memorize the solution to every problem. In fact there are many problems that have never been solved previously and searching for solutions requires a different mental process. Yet that seems to be the sole goal of those who profess to be experts on the subject of studying. They are mute on teaching students the art of critical thinking and the application of knowledge. Dr. Carson's medical research and contributions to the art and science of neurosurgery tend to indicate that he has mastered these skills as well.
Dr. Carson had one other asset that was denied me, one that I wish I had: A parent who believed that he could accomplish anything he set his mind to and instilled that belief in him. His mother was one of twenty-four siblings, married at the tender age of thirteen to a bigamist who abandoned his wife and children without support. Here Dr. Carson was blessed to live under the tutelage of a mother who struggled not only to survive, but also to provide for herself and two sons without succumbing to the temptations of the welfare state. Thus she imbued her sons with her own sense of honor and iron will.
Obviously, Dr. Carson's life and accomplishments stand as testimony contradicting those who claim that success is beyond the reach of ghetto children. They dismiss Dr. Carson as an Uncle Tom, one who panders to whites while they prefer that blacks wallow, stuck in the grasp of incentive-killing handouts. Pay no attention to the fact that these self-proclaimed leaders of the black community would lose their influence (and no small portion of their income) if their constituents suddenly became self-sufficient.
In truth, reading Dr. Carson's book made me angry at those who preach the narrative of victim-hood. Not only are they denying the right of ghetto children to realize their gifts, but also they are denying society in general, you and me, the benefits of those gifts. How many more Ben Carson's are playing in those fallow streets, children who might grow into productive adulthood if they had been raised by parents such as Ben Carson's mother? Think of the lives saved by Dr. Carson's gifted hands and then multiply that by the others that might have been saved had they become surgeons. How many other gifted children are now languishing on welfare rolls or in prison instead of becoming productive citizens. You may become angry, too.
Is Dr. Carson qualified to be President? It's a valid question inasmuch as there appears to be a popular sentiment to draft him even if he fails to advance himself for that position. Personally, I'm not convinced yet. Although his genius and his accomplishments are proven well beyond those of the current President, it is not yet clear that the ability to manage an operating theater is sufficient to lead a nation. Also, I have seen too many good men and women fall victim to the vicissitudes of politics to be convinced that any amount of goodness is sufficient armor for those propelled to high office.
If you read Gifted Hands you will discover that Dr. Carson has already evinced key skills that could well serve the occupant of the White House. He fully understands the value of teamwork and excels at building and leading successful teams. He has an appreciation for all people, recognizing that everyone is important no matter how seemingly insignificant their contribution. He respects those who disagree and dissent from his opinion, and yet has the confidence to make decisions and accept responsibility for them. Remarkably, he possesses one skill that few have brought with them to the presidency, the ability to make life and death decisions.
Before I close, I must mention the one gift that served him best, his gifted hands. Dr. Carson could never have succeeded as a neurosurgeon without them.
Still, if Dr. Carson persists in this dream or is drawn into it by his legion of supporters, he yet has much to learn. I doubt if gifted hands are of much use to a President. Some of his recent political utterances have fallen flat. Fortunately, he has some two years in which to prepare himself for the greatest challenge of any man's life and he knows how to study.