Dr. Ben Carson: Talking With Moms, Strengthening A Nation
It is a widely held belief that when you “educate a woman, you educate a nation.” This statement rings true to me just as it does to so many other women living in the United States, especially those who are mothers. We, mothers, understand the responsibility we hold in crafting the future of our nation through the powerful influence we have on our children. We understand that our fingerprints are all over tomorrow. It’s a reality that does not evade us in importance or meaning.
To that end, and with respect to the monumental time constraints plaguing most moms and the critical nature of the upcoming Presidential election, I wanted to help mothers out by clarifying the positions of each of the Republican candidates regarding certain issues pertaining to motherhood and child rearing in the United States. With this in mind, I began contacting “eight” out of the top ten GOP candidates with the intention of briefly interviewing each of them so that I may share their answers with other moms. In my opinion, the forty-four million moms contributing to the health and welfare of this nation deserve this consideration. Ironically, the reactions I received from the candidates spoke volumes -- well beyond what I, initially, anticipated.
Out of the eight Republican candidates for President that I approached, two failed to respond entirely, two flat out said “No” (truly concerning based upon the mission and magnitude of the mothering population residing in the United States), one remained wholly non-committal, one replied positively then backed-out at the last minute, and one (and “only” one) embraced my invitation and carried through in a timely, gracious, and highly supportive manner. I will leave you to differentiate “who is who” amongst the first seven candidates. We all know who number eight is -- Dr. Ben Carson.
With fewer moments to spare than most other candidates, Dr. Carson took the time to make “moms” and their concerns a stop on his campaign trail. I am sure the appreciation and respect Dr. Carson feels for his own mother - including the sacrifices she made as a single mom raising him and his brother - made the decision to participate a “welcomed” opportunity. However, I believe, more went into his thinking than just what his mama told him and showed him.
Dr. Carson is an “issues-over-ego” based candidate, meaning that he is clearly and proactively focused on the “issues.” His goal is to make a marriage work between “President and public” as opposed to getting caught up in the wedding plans (campaign). This “issues-over-ego” mentality can be attributed to much of Dr. Carson’s personal and professional success and stands as a rather telling barometer for his own and this nation’s political futures, given he, ultimately, becomes President of the United States.
It’s helped him to remain disciplined, steadfast, selfless, prioritized, courageous, humble, strong, faith-filled, and clear (both personally and professionally). It’s kept him learning and intently listening. As a renowned neurosurgeon, its honed his ability to identify what is vital to turning near impossible circumstances around to successful ends -- a valuable trait in a President. It’s kept him on a path of overcoming odds, outperforming predictions, and blazing new trails, all without dropping one critical ball in the doing. It’s inspired him to cultivate “the best” in others throughout his life and his career. And it is the reason he will keep fighting for kids and ‘holding the door wide open” for mothers and their concerns.
That said, enjoy getting to know Dr. Ben Carson further through this interview. I am confident that you will be enormously impressed with the new information about him in which he shares.
Given you are elected the next President of the United States, what is the most important thing moms can do to assist you in your having a successful Presidency?
The role of motherhood has been undervalued in our society as of late. Mothers have the primary capacity to impact our communities for good.
Teach your children the wonder and value of life and the importance of being informed, good citizens. Instill in them a thirst for knowledge, the ideals of respect, and the benefits of hard work. If as a nation we embrace these principles, our future will be bright.
Eighty-three percent of “single parent” households today are run by moms (9.9 million moms to be exact, many of whom are financially strapped and barely “making it”). How will you help support these moms to thrive - as opposed to merely “surviving” - and inspire their children to do the same?
I know first-hand how difficult this can be as I lived it, and to me, the answer lies in education. My goal is to find ways to encourage education—which is the great equalizer and a true ladder to opportunity. I also know well that happiness doesn’t come from material things but rather strong family bonds and progressing together through life.
What is your personal mantra?
Think big. Take risks. Respect others. Work hard. Focus on God.
You have mastered the ability to diffuse anger and bring calm into your own life. Share your plan for doing the same for our nation, given that you become the next President of the United States.
I pleaded with God to take that anger away and throughout my life, I worked to keep myself “in-check.” As a nation, we need to exhibit self-discipline. We need to be able to listen to each other and bring back civil and intelligent discourse. Showing respect by listening and trying to understand another’s point of view is nearly always reciprocated. Changing the tone and tenor of Washington would start with me.
We seem to be a nation who fails to breed a “love for learning” in our youth. Thus we exchange the "lifelong learner" for one who merely wants to achieve his or her "end-game." Our declining PISA scores as a nation reflect the harm this particular psychology can do. How do we change this faulty psychology for one that ensures a brighter future for our youth and the United States overall?
The focus has to change. We cannot inspire our children to be “lifelong learners” if all we are doing is racing toward admission to top universities or requiring a particular status, be it wealth or position. The emphasis needs to be on improving ourselves and our communities through hard work, knowledge, and service.
When “all” is said and done in your life, how does Dr. Ben Carson want to be remembered?
I don’t need to be remembered. I just hope that when I’m gone, I’ve done my part to make the world better, taken care of my family, and been constant and true to my faith in God.
Succinctly put, the only way that we, the people, have any chance at all of choosing the best possible Republican candidate for President is to lean on, yet, another widely-held belief summed up in one phrase, “Actions speak louder than words.” Given we take this wisdom seriously, Dr. Ben Carson might just be the best possible choice to lead us into the future.
In restoring long term hope to a nation, you must first return it to the hearts and minds of children and mothers. There is no better way to begin doing this than by taking the time to talk with them. And yet, Dr. Ben Carson was the only candidate to do so when asked. We might just need a brain surgeon to run this nation afterall.
Many thanks to Dr. Ben Carson and Carson America for making this interview possible