Publisher’s Points to Ponder:
It has been almost impossible to consolidate and select information to share in a four-week timeframe about African-Americans who have contributed to American history. It’s important to reiterate the achievements of notable African Americans such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks; and it is equally important to me to share information that you may not see often, or information you may have forgotten or information you may not know about black history.
This week, I’d like to start with Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson, who is a favorite among some of our readers as well as a favorite among voters during his candidacy for President of the United States in 2016. Dr. Carson is currently serving under the Trump Administration as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Before venturing into politics, Carson led Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital until he retired.
Dr. Carson’s impressive career and achievements, such as performing the only successful separation of twins conjoined at the head and his research related to the treatment of brain-stem tumors, are not things that excite me the most. I am moved by Dr. Carson’s perseverance and the determination he has consistently shown throughout his life. Despite the obstacles he faced, including his mother’s attempted suicide and battle with depression, he found a way to press forward. Sometimes people use any excuse not to achieve success because of the environment they were raised in, or traumas they may have faced during childhood. Dr. Carson did not view his negative life experiences as obstacles; he saw them as steppingstones that eventually elevated him out of an impoverished life.
Often recognizing the sacrifices his mother maid to ensure he achieved success, Dr. Carson released a powerful statement after she died in 2017. I’ve placed this statement in my book of quotes as it has made a significant impact on me. I close with the words of Dr. Carson, and I hope that his words and the poem he references “Yourself to Blame” by Mayme White Miller will make a difference in your life.
“Today, November 6, 2017, we lost my dear mother, Sonya Carson. Although she came from an impoverished background with very little formal education, she somehow understood how success was achieved in our society. If anyone had a reason to make excuses, it was her, but she absolutely refused to be a victim and would not permit us to develop the victim mentality either. Whenever we made an excuse, she quoted the poem ‘Yourself to Blame.’”