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Throughout his life Ben Carson faced many trials and tribulations. All of which forced him to make life altering decisions. Going from a “disturbed” child and adolescent to an outstanding surgeon society would think Dr. Carson made the right choices, but along the way Ben wasn’t so sure.
One of the important decisions Ben was faced with was in the tenth grade. He had to decide weather or not he wanted to continue on his downward spiral with school and friends or if he wanted to get his act together and become high in rank in his school’s ROTC program. After seeing his brother in his ROTC uniform Ben was certain he wanted to follow in Curtis’ footsteps. He knew he would have to work tremendously hard if he ever wanted to be named colonel as a student. Carson decided to put his best foot forward and forgot about being in the “it” crowd with the “right” clothes and focused on his ROTC goal. Ben was honored when Sgt. Bandy put him in charge of the most rambunctious class. His strategy for whipping the class into shape was getting to know them individually and then “structured the exercises accordingly (65).” Sgt Bandy was pleased to see that Ben turned the worst class into the best class of the unit in a matter of weeks. Ben was then promoted to second lieutenant. By the time he graduated Ben not only reached his goal and was ranked colonel, but he had been offered a full scholarship to West Point. A whole new decision in its own, Ben turned the scholarship down to pursue his dreams of being a doctor.
Another decision Ben made came after his first year of college at Yale. He was put in charge of a highway crew that picked up trash along highways in Detroit. The crews were made up of mostly inter-city kids. Instead of allowing his crew to collect only 12 bags of trash a day like the other supervisors, Ben made sure his crew turned in at least 150 bags at the end of each day. He taught the young men in his group the idea of hard work and taking pride for the work that they do. “The principle goes like this: It’s not what you know but the kind of job you do that makes the difference (81).” By teaching these kids not to slack off even though it may have been hot outside or they may have been too tired, he more than likely changed their work ethic for the rest of their lives.
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“Some people are born to work, and others are pushed into it by their moms. But doing what must be done as quickly and as well as possible has been my strategy for everything including medicine (83-84).”
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“Abraham Lincoln 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.”
- Dr. Ben Carson