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Dr. Ben Carson Talks Childhood, Faith, and Career in Medicine with Kirk Cameron

Photo from Ben Carson’s Facebook

Dr. Ben Carson Talks Childhood, Faith, and Career in Medicine with Kirk Cameron

By Movieguide® Staff

Actor Kirk Cameron recently spoke with Dr. Ben Carson about his childhood, career in medicine, and faith.

The former presidential candidate said that he learned a lot about gratitude when he was younger, being raised by a single mother with little money.

“My story is largely a story of my mother, who came from rural Tennessee, had less than a third grade education, was from a huge family, shifted from home to home and got married at age 13,” he explained on Kirk Cameron’s TAKEAWAYS show. “I moved to Detroit with my father, discovered that he was a bigamist, had to end up raising us by herself.”

Despite their poverty, Carson remembers how important education was to his mother.

“She was a person who believed in education even though she didn’t have any because she worked as a domestic, cleaning out of people’s houses and she noticed they were beautiful homes and she said what makes these people so successful and she studied them she was really a spy and she said it’s because they don’t watch TV all day and they read a lot of books.”

“She came home and imposed that on me and my brother,” he continued. “We were not happy campers but we had to do it. That really changed me from a failing student to an academic superstar.”

Despite his prowess in the medical field today, Carson said that he initially was nicknamed, ‘the dummy’ in elementary school.

But after Carson started to read on his own, he quickly became the student others looked to for help.

“Even though we lived in an extremely poor environment, I didn’t mind poverty so much,” he recalled. “Once I turned things around from reading because I knew that I had the power to change that, that was only temporary and that’s something that’s so important to give that to our children today instead of telling them that they’re victims and that the society is oppressing them,” he said. “Help them to understand that the person that has the most to do with what
happens to them is them and not somebody else, not some circumstance.”

“Doesn’t mean that there aren’t obstacles and problems but the Creator gave you an incredible brain so you don’t have to sit there and mope and wine, you can figure out how to get around those obstacles that exist,” he added. “Once I developed that mindset it was tremendous.”

Carson went on to attend Yale University, medical school at the University of Michigan and by age 33 he became the chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.

Carson said that he focused his study for the sake of helping others due to his upbringing in the church.

“I used to listen to the mission stories in church and they frequently featured missionary doctors,” he said. “These people to great personal sacrifice, traveled all over the world to bring not only physical but mental and spiritual healing to people.”

“That’s really what sparked my engine,” he added.

Despite his success, Carson credits God.

“I realized early in my career that it wasn’t me. I said, ‘Lord you be the neurosurgeon and I’ll be the hands,’” he said. “When I came to that realization, amazing things started to happen and I see the impact of them even today.”

“A couple of weeks ago I was in the airport in Austin Texas and a man came running up to me and he says, ‘Dr Carson, you won’t remember me but 30 years ago you operated on my three-year-old daughter. She had a malignant brain tumor and everybody said she was going to die. I just want you to know she just celebrated her 33rd birthday,” Carson told Cameron. “I know that that’s not me. I know that that’s God and it’s a privilege to be able to intervene in people’s lives.”

Ben Carson’s story is told in the movie, GIFTED HANDS. A portion of Movieguide®’s review reads:

GIFTED HANDS: THE BEN CARSON STORY is one of the best made-for-television movies ever produced. It is the true story of a black child raised by a single mother who encouraged him to use his God-given gifts. He rises from being a poor student, to the top of his class. Upon hearing the story of a missionary doctor and decides to pursue a career in medicine. He becomes a world-renowned neurosurgeon. Repeatedly, Ben has to overcome prejudice to be able to let the gifts God has given him blossom.

The message of this movie is that by focusing on God’s will for your life you can become the very best you can be and will become God’s agent in ministering to others. Rather than settling in to a life believing he was inferior, underprivileged and discriminated against, Ben looked to God for help and became an astounding example, not just for black children, but also for everyone. The people who made this movie are to be commended for so clearly showing that God has the cure for self-doubt, anger and prejudice. GIFTED HANDS is a great, inspirational family movie.