The Dr. Carson I Met

Friday, June 14, 2013

I met Dr. Ben Carson in person during the 1990's when he was invited to Chattanooga and gave an inspirational speech at the downtown Trade Center. Very few, outside his Seventh Day Adventist Church, knew of him and much of the rest who did considered him uppity and arrogant. He was neither. 

When I was introduced to Dr. Carson he appeared more excited by the tattered, well worn and well read paperback book I took for him to autograph more so than his own accomplishments and life journey. The book was titled Gifted Hands, one of the first books he'd written, I believe. Dr. Carson proudly wanted to know who had read his book seemingly so thoroughly and what appeared to be several times over? I told him besides myself,  my youngest son who carried the book around with him everywhere he went. Dr. Carson was so humbled and grateful that a young teenage man had taken such an interest in his life story that he not only autographed the book but also included a personal and inspiring message to my son.  

My son would carry the book for the next several years, all through  middle school, high school. At  his first job at fifteen, he'd often read the book again and again on his breaks at work. Then through high school and when he attempted to open his own small business with money he'd saved from his job. The business didn't do too well, but the inspirational words of Dr. Carson inspired him to not give up. He'd also carry that worn and tattered book into college and on into the military when he joined the Air Force. A book with a few inspirational words, not put downs, that meant so much to a young man. 

The Dr. Ben Carson I met that day at the Trade Center in the 90's  would be disappointed that someone would use his life story and accomplishments as a cover to demean and vent intolerance, rather than as a means to uplift and inspire.  

Brenda Manghane-Washington


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

A New Way To Stop The Poverty Education Cycle

For more years then proud to talk I have watched, sometimes up close and very personal, the plight and future of so many kids.  Mostly black and a few others this group was destined not to greatness or success, but to a life of food stamps, welfare, poor education and poorer still educational prospects.  So often in my own work I would see and feel the excitement of the ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)