No. 903


If you read last week’s column you know that today is the second in a two-part series about Dr. Ben Carson, famous pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. The reason for last week’s column was to provide background information for what I want to share today.
Dr. Carson grew up in a single-parent home in the ghetto of Detroit and his life and his future was transformed because of a mother who knew the value of getting a good education. I won’t attempt to repeat the column -- if you want to know more, get a copy of last week’s column or read Dr. Carson’s terrific book “Gifted Hands.”
In a day and time when we are all looking for answers and solutions to our nation’s social and economic problems, Dr. Carson may just be God’s answer in the form of what the doctor ordered, pardon the pun. He shared some of these answers in a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., on Feb. 7, 2013. If you would like to see and hear his speech, go to or you can find him on and just type in his name.
To be sure, Dr. Carson has the microphone and the reason I wanted to present some of his ideas is that we share almost the exact same values. The only obvious difference is that Dr. Carson is black and I am white, which does not matter one whit to me. Here are some things we share in common.
No.1. We are both Christians, which means we both serve the Lord. No. 2. Know the value of education. Dr. Carson and his wife started Carson Scholars 16 years ago by funding 25 students for continuing their education beyond high school. Today that number is more than 5,000 in all 50 states. Further, the grade point went up in every single classroom where a Carson Scholar is part of the class. Here is a statement Dr. Carson made that I believe is certainly worth passing along, “When you educate a person, you liberate a person.”
No. 3. Keep education and sports in a proper perspective. While I don’t know all the details, they are holding banquets around the country where they give trophies and the same recognition for academic success as those for athletic success. No. 4. We both love America and are “Independent” with no partisan political affiliation. If we are to ever regain the ground we have lost, we must stop the political bickering and work at solving our nation’s economic and social problems (The latter are my comments, not his.)
At the National Prayer Breakfast, he said he does not believe in Political Correctness. In very clear language, without beating around the bush, he then stated what he believes would make a difference. One of these things would be to establish a “Health Savings Account” when a child is born. First, give a child a birth certificate and a Social Security card. Set up an account where money can be deposited tax free and with regular deposits where it can grow and can also be passed on to others. In this way, individuals take care of their own health care. As a result, many people will not go to a hospital for expensive procedures, but go to a less expensive clinic for non-life-threatening treatment. In short, they have a vested interest in saving money.
And the best one of all is what he called “Skin in the Game,” based on a tithe from the Bible. When every American pays some taxes based on a proportion of their income, they won’t be interested in free give-away programs because it will be their own money they will be giving away. Free stuff: safety net, yes, entitlement, no.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)