Ben Carson

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Benjamin Solomon "Ben" Carson being announced as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on June 20, 2008.

Benjamin Solomon "Ben" Carson, Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is a retired neurosurgeon and former Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, by President George W. Bush in 2008. He is currently a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2016 US Presidential election.


Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (1990)[edit]

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, Review & Herald Pub., ISBN 0-8280-0669-5

  • Maybe that's how I learned to handle up my deep forgetting.
    • p. 15
  • Ben Carson once said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mother.” I'm not sure I want to say it quite like that, but my mother Sonya Carson, was the earliest, strongest, and most impacting force in my life. It would be impossible to tell about my accomplishments without starting with my mother influence.
    • p. 16
  • She was not a person who would allow the system to dictate her life.
    • p. 18
  • You've promised that if we come to You and ask something in faith, that You'll do it.
    • p. 58
  • Why should I give someone else such power over my life?
    • p. 59
  • Jesus is All the World to Me.
    • p. 60
  • I have sunshine in my heart regardless of conditions around me.
    • p. 60
  • You have yourself to blame.
    • p. 63
  • We create our own destiny by the way we do things. We have to take advantage of opportunities and be responsible for our choices.
    • p. 63
  • It wasn't that I had to be first in everything, but I should have been number one.
    • p. 72
  • You have to try, you have to try everything you can.
    • p. 76
  • We don't necessarily have to play by strict rules if we can find a way that works better, as long as it's reasonable and doesn't hurt anybody.
    • p. 84
  • Someone told me that creativity is just learning to do something with a different perspective.
    • p. 84
  • The kind of job doesn't matter. The length of time doesn't matter. If you work hard and do your best, you'll be recognized and move onward.
    • p. 88
  • I don't believe in one-person productions. Everyone on the team is important and needs to know that he or she is vital.
    • p. 121
  • I can provide one living example of someone who made it and who came from what we now call a disadvantaged background: me.
    • p. 125
  • Teasing me, my physician's assistant and my right-hand person Carol James says:“It's because women need only half of their brain to think as well as a man. That's why you can do hemispherectomy on so many women.”
    • p. 161
  • It's all in God's hands.
    • p. 191
  • I always pray before any of the operation. I think God help me know what to do.
    • p. 194
  • We are capable of doing even better things than we believe we are, if we challenge each other to do it.
    • p. 215
  • If we choose to see the obstacles in our path as barriers, we stop trying. If we choose to see the obstacles as hurdles, we can leap over them. Successful people don't have fewer problems. The have determined that nothing will stop them from going forward.
    • p. 232
  • To THINK BIG and to use our talent doesn't mean we don't have difficulties on the way. We will - we all do. How we view those problems determines how we end up.
    • p. 232

Think Big (1996)[edit]

Think Big, Zondervan Publishing. ISBN 0-310-21459-9
  • This was a book about giving our best and especially about doing whatever we can to help others.
    • p. 9
  • One of the great truths of life is that you can't do all alone. You need help along the way.
    • p. 10
  • I need the Lord's guidance on what to do, I need to ask God for wisdom.
    • p. 16
  • Reading is the way out of ignorance, and the road to achievement.
    • p. 22
  • You do your best, and God do the rest.
    • p. 46
  • You pray for yourself and just ask God to give you strength.
    • p. 46
  • Nobody can hinder you from doing what you want, if that's what you set your mind to. You can always find a hook to hang excuses on, but they're only excuses. You don't have anyone to blame but yourself. Nobody else makes you fail.
    • p. 50
  • God loves us all, and all of us are equal in God's sight.
    • p. 56
  • My mentors are those individuals who saw potential in me long before I perceived it in myself – or who challenged me to do more – the people who helped guide me toward excellence.
    • p. 57
  • Because they believed in my ability , I was able to believe in it as well.
    • p. 60
  • Do not underestimate the importance of feeling special.
    • p. 61
  • I thank God for all the people whom God sent into my life, the people who gave their best so that I could learn to give my best.
    • p. 69
  • The outstanding doctor constantly emphasized the humanitarian aspect of medical care.
    • p. 74
  • We have no time for excuses.
    • p. 80
  • If we know human anatomy and we are reasonably intelligent, he assumes that we can figure out how to do almost anything.
    • p. 84
  • Be nice to people – all people – even when you don't have to be. Everybody is important.
    • p. 86
  • Give your best. Settle for nothing less than doing your best for yourself and for others.
    • p. 87
  • Always give your best and try to figure out how to do an even better job.
    • p. 90
  • Not everyone has to be a high-powered neurosurgeon to add significantly to the equation that brings about success here.
    • p. 100
  • Occasionally I talk with people who see doctors as people who do nothing but give of themselves and never receive from anyone else – especially not from their patients. That is totally false. The longer I remain in my profession, the more I realize how much I receive from those who come to me for help.
    • p. 113
  • Only God knows the beginning and the end.
    • p. 122
  • We don't have to explain miracles; all we have to do is accept them.
    • p. 146
  • When we have done our best, we also have to learn that we still need to rely on God. Our best – no matter how good – is incomplete if we leave God out of the picture.
    • p. 146
  • When I don't have an answer, I pray. God is the only alternative source of help.
    • p. 147
  • Thanks, God, for honoring our best by giving us a miracle.
    • p. 147
  • Use PMA: Positive Mental Actitude.
    • p. 151
  • You are what you think.
    • p. 151
  • If we allow ourselves to dwell on negatives, on hurts, on mistreatments, we will be negative thinkers. So be open to positive thinking, THINK BIG!
    • p. 152
  • THINK BIG means opening our horizons, reaching for new possibilities in our lives, being open to whatever God has in store for us on the road ahead.
    T=TALENT : If you recognize your talents, use them appropriately, and choose a field that uses those talents, you will rise to the top of your field.
    H=HONEST : If we live by the rule of honesty and accept our problems, we can go far down the road of achievement.
    I=INSIGHT : If we observe and reflect and commit ourselves to giving our best, we will come out on top.
    N=NICE : If we are nice to others, other respond to us in the same way, and we can give our best for each other.
    K=KNOWLEDGE : If we make every attempt to increase our knowledge in order to use it for human go, it will make a difference in us and in our world.
    B=BOOKS : If we commit ourselves to reading thus increasing our knowledge, only God limits how far we can go in this world.
    I=IN-DEPTH LEARNING : If we develop in-depth knowledge, it will enable us to give our best to others and help to make a better world.
    G=GOD : If we acknowledge our need for God , he will help us.
    • p. 152
  • It is not a matter of competing with someone else. Essentially, it is accepting our own special abilities as special – and then developing them.
    • p. 159
  • Anyone with a normal brain has the capacity to do almost anything, but when one has special gifts or talents (and everyone has) and takes advantage of and develops these talents – that person is likely to excel.
    • p. 160
  • What a wonderful thing is to be able to contribute to the restoration of someone's health. It's not only a feeling that I'm worth something, but that I have something to contribute.
    • p. 165
  • I'm convinced that we all harvest the fruits of our labors.
    • p. 167
  • Although we all make mistakes in life, the problems occur when we try to hide our mistakes, to cover them up rather than to learn from them and allow other people to learn from them.
    • p. 175
  • It is not where we have come from but where we are going that counts!
    • p. 193
  • Be nice to every-body. You meet the same people going up as you meet going down.
    • p. 196
  • Not prejudge others – not decide their value before knowing them.
    • p. 197
  • God don't make no junk.
    • p. 198
  • Being nice always comes back to repay us in the long run.
    • p. 199
  • Not only we can say that we cannot overload our brain, but we also know that our brain retains everything. The difficulty does not come with the input of information, but in getting it out.
    • p. 206
  • Knowledge makes people special. Knowledge enriches life itself.
    • p. 207
  • You never know how useful even seemingly insignificant knowledge can be.
    • p. 212
  • Knowledge make us valuable. When we have knowledge that other people do not readily have, somebody need us. It does not matter what we look like, or where we came from, if we have something that others have a need for.
    • p. 212
  • Knowledge is the key that unlocks all the doors. You can be green-skinned with yellow polka dots and come from Mars, but if you have knowledge that people need, instead of beating you, they'll beat a path to your door.
    • p. 216
  • The mind, once stretched by an idea, never returns to its original dimension.
    • p. 224
  • In-depth learning means learning as much about a topic as possible – learning for the sake of knowledge and understanding itself as opposed to learning for the sake of passing a test with high grades or trying to impress people.
    • p. 233
  • We cannot allow ourselves to be prejudiced against a subject, based upon what someone else has said or just upon the difficulty we encounter in learning.
    • p. 239
  • It is important to call on God to intervene in our life, especially when we reach the point where we ourselves have become helpless.
    • p. 244
  • As I continued to develop my relationship with Him, I discovered that God is a nice guy.
    • p. 254
  • What is important – what I consider success – is that we make a contribution to our world.
    • p. 261
  • We are still able to grow as long as we are alive.
    • p. 264
  • We do not have to compare our achievements with those of others. We need only to ask ourselves one question: Have I given my best?
    • p. 265

Take The Risk (2008)[edit]

Take The Risk, Rewiew and Herald, pubblishing Association. ISBN 0-8280-0561-3

  • “Why risk ?” I responded. “It should be, why not to risk?”
    • p. 7
  • In our culture, security has become an obsession.
    • p. 7
  • I've never known a case yet where worry helped.
    • p. 18
  • So I'm going to say my prayers tonight before I go to sleep. I hope you'll do the same. I believe if we do that, we'll all have less to worry about tomorrow.
    • p. 18
  • God would grant all of us wisdom, calm, and peace, that his presence would be in the operating room, and that his will might be done.
    • p. 20
  • If things do go badly, will I wonder for the rest of my life what I might have done to help?
    • p. 20
  • Whenever I face a hard decision or a risky situation in life (personally or professionally), all my thinking, all my analysis, all my planning can be boiled down to four simple questions:
    1. What is the best thing that can happen if I do this?
    2. What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?
    3. What is the best thing that can happen if I don't do it?
    4. What is the worst thing that can happen if I don't do it?
    • p. 21
  • After all my thinking and praying, my decision came down to the fact that I felt obligated to do everything I could to help.
    • p. 21
  • I now had enough faith not only to believe there were answer, but to feel certain that those answers would become apparent at some point in the future.
    • p. 34
  • I was confident that something good would come out of yet another difficult and disappointing case.
    • p. 35
  • It's a failure only if you don't get anything out of it, Thomas Edison said he knew 999 ways that a light bulb did not work; yet we have lights today.
    • p. 36
  • But no matter what safety steps we take or what security precautions we adopt, our risk of death is not approximately – but exactly – 100 percent. There is no margin of error on the statistic.
    • p. 40
  • Say your prayers. And I'll say mine. Because I really think it helps.
    • p. 43
  • If someone in going to die anyway without an operation, then you have nothing to lose by trying.
    • p. 43
  • How did we become so intrigued by risk – and so worried about it at the same time?
    • p. 47
  • Like an adventure who was asked why he climbed the mountain and answered, “Because it's there!” I think our culture has developed this intense love-hate relationship with risk, in part because it's always there.
    • p. 48
  • The truth is that everything is risky; life itself is risky.
    • p. 51
  • Rather than reacting to every risk we hear and see, we should make an effort to discern which ones we can do something about.
    • p. 58
  • The more we think about risk, the more risk seem to be.
    • p. 58
  • Surrendering to fear and allowing ourselves to be paralyzed by peril isn't something most of us can afford to do.
    • p. 63
  • The greatest and most valuable resources we have for making crucial decision are knowledge and the amazing brainpower God gave human beings when he created us. That's certainly true for deciding our best response to any risk we ever face.
    • p. 64
  • Odds that you will die at some point in your life: 1 in 1. Thus, you might say the greatest, most significant, and universal risk factor in death is being born. This implies that it really isn't very helpful to approach the subject of risk by focusing on how we might die; rather, it's far wise to consider how we should live and what risk we will live with.
    • p. 67
  • Risk played a really important role in making me the person I am.
    • p. 67
  • Every human being experiences risks; some of the risks are common to all humans, and some are unique to the life each of us has been given to live. But I know for certain that risk – both it's shadow and its reality – has shaped my life inside and out.
    • p. 68
  • We'll always be safe in Jesus Christ if we place our faith in the Lord.
    • p. 72
  • You can sense their anger before they even say a word.
    • p. 77
  • The Bible is a seemingly inexhaustible source of practical wisdom that could serve as a valuable resource for everyday living.
    • p. 81
  • I learned that with great responsibility often come great honor and opportunity.
    • p. 85
  • Once in a while, when it comes to taking risks, youthful naivete pays better dividends than do knowledge and experience.
    • p. 86
  • I sensed I was about to take one of the most important risks of my life. But I felt so right that I didn't hesitate.
    • p. 92
  • That learning process has been likened to the challenge of having someone open a fire hydrant and expect you to swallow it all.
    • p. 94
  • Often the willingness to think differently about a problem and then risk sharing the idea with others certainly pay off.
    • p. 97
  • My experience has confirmed the wisdom of so much of what the Bible teaches.
    • p. 118
  • If your priority is to look good in front of people, your life will take a different direction than if your priority is to use the talents that God has given you to make a positive difference in the world.
    • p. 118
  • If we set our priority “the removal of all risk”, we'll soon have sterile, stagnant, and unstimulating learning environments.
    • p. 120
  • Faith, by definition, is a risk.
    • p. 125
  • Evolutionism and creationism both requires faith.
    • p. 128
  • Evolutionism is to think that a hurricane blowing through a junkyard could somehow assemble a fully equipped and flight-ready 747.
    • p. 128
  • I believe we have this enormous brains with the ability to process so much information for a purpose – because we were made in God's image, not in the image of an amoeba.
    • p. 130
  • I am sensitive to the fact that other people may have different beliefs.
    • p. 132
  • I believe God has a specific purpose for me – and for every other person to whom he gives the gift of life.
    • p. 133
  • I don't consider myself a “religious” person at all. I am, however, a person of enormous faith.
    • p. 134
  • We can see God's reflection in everything he created.
    • p. 148
  • If there is a God and you believe in him, you know the best is yet to come.
    • p. 148
  • I realized my obligations to others should be greater then my obligations to myself.
    • p. 152
  • Creativity requires risk. So do exploration and innovation. Anyone who thinks outside of the box is taking a risk. Leadership brings many risk. Courage is exercised in the face of risk. Invest involve risk. Decision-making always mean a certain degree of risk.
    • p. 161
  • True greatness isn't so much what you do as who you are.
    • p. 162
  • God doesn't make mistakes. So if I'm supposed to die, there's a very good reason for it. I'm not going to question him. I'm just going to enjoy all these beautiful things that God created.
    • p. 168
  • The point is, we can decry the dangers we face or ignore them or even allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear.
    • p. 236
  • Every time I open a child's head and see a brain, I marvel at the mystery: This is what makes every one of us who we are. This is what hold all our memories, all our thoughts, all our dreams. This is what makes us different from each other in millions of ways.
    • p. 234
  • Do we have a brain? Than use it. It's all you need to overcome a problem. That's the secret. That's my simple but powerful prescription for life, love, and success in a dangerous world.
    • p. 236

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