Start from where you are

Ever heard of Ben Carson? Well Ben Carson has a remarkable story. At the age of 8 his parents separated and he found himself and his older brother living with his mother who struggled to raise them alone. In fifth grade he was considered by his peers as the dumbest kid in the class, and they often made jokes about him. It didn’t take long before he really began to feel as though he was the most stupid kid in the fifth grade. His mother would frequently assure him, “You’re smart Bennie. You can do anything you want to do.” But he didn’t believe her. No one in school though he was smart and neither did he.

Well one day he brought his report card home and his mother saw it. She hadn’t known how low his marks were, and though disappointed, she still believed in his potential. She told him “Education is the only way you’re ever going to escape poverty. It’s the only way you’re ever going to get ahead in life and be successful.” She continued shaking the report card and saying, “You have to work harder, you have to use that good brain that God gave you…I just don’t know what to do about you boys. I’m going to talk to God about you and Curtis (his brother).” She stared into space, “I need the Lord’s guidance on what to do about you boys.”

After school Ben and his brother would usually come home, run outside and play softball or ‘Tip the Top’. And when they got tired or bored, go in and watch TV. But now their mom banned them from going out to play until they had done their homework. Additionally they had to read two books a week and write a project on what they had learnt. This seemed cruel and Ben wasn’t happy. But not realising Ben was becoming very knowledgeable. He found himself answering questions in class that the other kids didn’t know. At times he was even finding reading more enjoyable than watching TV or going out to play. In a year and a half he had moved from bottom to the top of the class.
He learned that by always doing his best he could excel both in class and in life. By the age of 33 Ben had climbed from the academic bottom of fifth grade to become the head of paediatric neuro-surgery at John Hopkins Hospital. He became the only black person and one of the youngest persons to have such a position in a world wide institution.

Of course there’s more to the story but my point is this. Wherever you are in life use what you have and start where you are. It’s the perfect place to begin. Education is not what happens in an institution, it’s what happens in your mind. Let not age, gender, race, culture or negative opinions stop you. Ben wasn’t born a natural intellect, but now he’s pursued as a medical genius. He had to learn everything he knows. Often we look at what we have and we think it’s not enough. But it is. We are all like seeds. At anytime we can begin to grow into trees, and after we can produce forests. But we need to feed ourselves and never stop growing. When bad whether comes hold on until it passes – the water it leaves will be useful. Start from where you are and stretch your branches to the sky!

God bless and protect

Quote of the week:
“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” Lazuraus Long

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