Book Review: Gifted Hands The Ben Carson Story

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - 11:00am
Tami L. Johnson

Some time ago, I was told about a story of a single mother who was raising two young boys, on her own, with very little money. Instead of watching their favorite tv shows after school, she told them to only pick 3 programs a week.

 With their extra time she encouraged them to read two books each week and, afterward, write about them.  Because of this, these brothers grew to be very successful, particularly the younger brother, Benjamin.  He became a neurosurgeon. 

This story intrigued me very much; and I wanted to read the book and learn more!  Just this past summer, I heard about this book, once again, through a good friend. Finally, over the Christmas break, I picked up Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.

What an amazing read!  If you’ve never heard of Dr. Ben Carson, you will want to pick up this book!  It is written from his point of view as he grows up alongside his older brother, Curtis, in the areas of Boston and inner-city Detroit.

Ben eventually becomes the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins Medical Institutions at age thirty-three. He takes you into the operating room where he saves countless lives. You will be clinging to the families whose children are helpless until they meet Dr. Carson—who is the role model for anyone who attempts the seemingly impossible.

In the beginning of the book, we learn what happens to Ben’s father and why he is not part of the picture.  We learn how strong his mother is in the face of adversity and she teaches Ben to be the same.

 She used to say, “Bennie, it doesn’t really matter what color you are.  If you’re good, you’ll be recognized.  Because people, even if they’re prejudiced, are going to want the best.  You just have to make being the best your goal in life.”   

One of my favorite characteristics about Dr. Carson is that he relies on his faith.  He seems to have a daily prayer in his heart as he calls upon God and gives thanks when he receives blessings.

 “Thank you, God,” I said as I picked it up, hardly able to believe that I had the money in my hand.” This quote is from a time when he didn’t even have enough money to ride the bus to church and how he was blessed in the midst of the situation.

 Even the smallest acts of kindness, he acknowledges.  It was a great example, to me, of how to live a more abundant life and include God often. 

 Dr. Carson was also very kind to everyone he met.  He wanted to help all people, no matter who they were. He reached out to everyone and cared for them when he became a doctor.  It was very interesting to learn HOW Ben Carson became a doctor; and the pathway it took him to get there.

You’ll be left in awe at the individual stories he tells about the patients he helps and the triumphs that come.  Along with the book, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, you can check out the DVD of Gifted Hands starring Cuba Gooding Jr. as Dr. Ben Carson.  A powerful story indeed of faith, courage and the power to change lives.