A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity watch a wonderful movie about the life of Dr. Ben Carson. It was called Gifted Hands and it chronicled his rise from bottom of the class fifth grader in a poor single parent household, to brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins. Later, I found out that Dr. Carson had written several books intended to inspire young people to reach for their full potential.
Yesterday, I have been thinking that my own sons could benefit from Dr. Carson’s message. So I picked up Think Big, and read it in one day. Today I will hand it to my oldest son and I look forward to discussing the important messages in the book.
This book is about becoming the best person you can be. While Dr. Carson incorporates the wisdom of honesty, helping others and understanding that God plays a major role in our lives, his strongest message is the importance of learning by reading. Is it unhealthy to read too much? Do we really need to learn so much anyway? I enjoyed Dr. Carson’s refutations:
“First, we cannot overload the human brain. This divinely created brain has fourteen billion cells. If used to the maximum, this human computer inside our heads could contain all the knowledge of humanity from the beginning of the world to the present and still have room left over.”
“All knowledge is important – a fact that some people do not want to hear. One of the wonderful things about learning is that knowledge not only translates from from area to another but is also an avenue that leads to understanding and insight.”
Dr. Carson goes on to provide examples supporting this claim. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories from his own life and I am hopeful that they will resonate with students – especially my own children. As a person who loves reading and knowledge, I am troubled by the attitude of those who claim not to enjoy reading. I think Dr. Carson is very perceptive when he claims that the more a person reads, the more they will enjoy it. Ultimately, it is reading that will change a person’s life.
“Reading is the way out of ignorance, and the road to achievement.”
This an ideal book for students and parents alike. It encourages us to be more than we thought possible.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 1992