Ben Carson: gifted, intellectual, and one of the most talented surgeons of his generation. Those are just a few words to describe the well-renown and inspiring Dr. Ben Carson. Unfortunately, people didn’t always use these words to describe the talented surgeon. At a young age Ben Carson was forced to overcome obstacles in school. Carson struggled academically throughout elementary school, and was often referred to as the “class dummy”. Carson began to rise to the top in middle and throughout high school, and he eventually graduated high school with honors. The talented young black man went on to attend Yale University with a scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After Yale, Carson went into medical school at the University of Michigan, where he specialized in neurosurgery. One writer describes Carson’s life obstacles as inspiring, “The lessons imparted by Dr. Carson are inspiring because they are an echo of his own life. He faced more than his share of hard knocks on the rough necked streets of Detroit” (BASU).
Throughout his impressive career Dr. Ben Carson wrote four bestselling books. He revealed his book “The Big Picture” to the world in 2000. In it he writes about the victim mentality and how he see’s minorities everyday struggle with this. Carson describes these “victims” of the mentality as people who: “Have a small-picture perspective on hardship--because that is what a victim mentality is. It is a short-range, self-centered, limited outlook, where the zoom lense of your attention stays so focused on the closest, most immediate obstacles that nothing else can be seen” (CARSON BOOK). Meaning people who fall under this mentality typically blame everyone else for their hardships instead of self-reflecting; essentially becoming the “victim” of any obstacle placed in front of them. Victims never view themselves as responsible for seemingly impossible obstacles, and assume little to no responsibility for solving those problems.
Ben Carson goes on to explain that it’s not just Americans who fall victim to this mentality, but there are people all over the world who seem to be taking on the trend. In his book, Carson mentions the letters he receives from people all over the world, and the sadness he feels for them. He goes on to write about how he receives a large number of letters each week from people asking him for financial help to pursue their dreams as well; even promising to pay him back once they achieve their professional status. Carson says if he were to respond with a yes to every one of his letters he would go bankrupt within a month. Instead he wishes he could tell these people how he truly feels. Carson writes, “I wish I convince them of what I truly believe--that if they would put the same amount of initiative, thought, and time into devising a strategy for achieving their goals themselves that they have already invested in trying to get me to help them, they would be a lot further along in the game” (CARSON BOOK). But of course Carson understands that his beliefs would be a tough concept to sell to people who have already adopted what he calls a self-fulfilling victim mentality that says they are neither responsible for, nor capable of, solving their own problems.
Dr. Carson wonders how one would go about changing the minds of those who have allowed themselves to fall victim to this mentality. But to understand how to change one’s mind about their bad situation, one must understand how to overcome the victim mentality all together.
When it comes to overcoming the victim mentality, the doctor says there is one factor in a person’s life that is most important. Carson writes, “For me, the single biggest factor in developing the attitude necessary to overcoming hardship was having positive role models. That started with the people I knew who I could look up to and learn from” (CARSON BOOK). When a person has a role model in their lives who they’ve seen...
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