Thursday, September 4, 2014
A Living More Than OK Look at One Nation
As a family we recently finished reading Dr. Ben Carson and Candy Carson’s latest book, One Nation. After several weeks after dinner we would sit in the living room and our daughter read the chapters to us. This was an enjoyable way to work through the book so as a family we could think through the ideas of Dr. Carson and his wife. We had the privilege to meet Dr. Carson and his wife at a San Angelo, Texas book signing a couple of months ago. His wife is delightful as we had about a 15 minute discussion with her that evening at the store concerning the state of affairs in our country.
The first part of the book covers and looks at the roots of problems that are causing America to decline. Topic such as the economy, political correctness, bigotry, and of course health care from a doctor’s perspective to name some of the problems mentioned. The discussion of the problems are well reasoned out. With each problem discussion he provides action steps for readers to consider in helping to correct the problems at the end of each chapter.
After focusing on real problems the country is facing he moves on to discuss more in-depth and overarching solutions to help America regain the greatness it once had in the past. Topics here are such as learning to have mutual respect even when disagreeing. Political correctness implies everyone must all believe and say the same talking points. Respect doesn’t mean we all have to agree on everything. He speaks of learning to compromise which relates well with having a civil and honorable respect for each other. He rightly brings out that both sides in Washington cannot get anything done as they all are focused on doing it “my way” -- then nothing gets done.
In his brother’s keeper chapter he brings out that we need to move beyond the government nanny state to having we Americans, truly care for those less fortunate across the land. Allow the people in their communities to come up with ways to move from the dependency mentality to compassionately aiding their neighbors to be more responsible and rise up to being charitable and compassionate. He makes an important point that a spirit of charity disappears in a Socialist state where an impersonal governments gives handouts paid for by tax payers.
My favorite section is that America needs to build a more informed populace. He begins that chapter with a verse from Proverbs 14:15 “Only simpletons believe everything they are told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.” I emphasize the same thinking in my book, Living More Than OK, in the essay on Critical Thinking. His chapter emphasizes the importance of education and having an educated populace. To solve the problems we face as a nation we need to have an emphasis on lifelong learning.
Throughout the book he uses his life story as to how a well-rounded education helped him to succeed in life. He points out that it not only helps in financial terms but enjoying life to the full. In other words education and a mindset of learning helps us to keep spiraling up to abundant living. An important part of this process he rightly mentions is the reading of books. He encourages the use of local libraries to read books on a broad array of topics. Of course being a Bookhead I had to say amen to that as my daughter was reading that section of his chapter 11. Dr. Carson’s experience again shows the importance of libraries and reading from when his mother had him and his brother when they were young read two books a week . Being poor they did not have cash to buy books so they made use of the local library. I am glad he continues to promote libraries in his books.
With a public that continues to grow in their learning and knowledge we may be able to turn this Titanic of country around. I must say Dr. Carson and Candy are more positive than I am at present on the issue of the country making a comeback. His final chapters look at the need for vision, renewed understanding on the roots of morality, and the need for positive role models. Many are discussing Dr. Carson as a presidential candidate in 2016. He wisely remains hesitant. He would be a breath of fresh air with his common sense wisdom. His running may help the dialogue of real solutions rise in the discussions that are needed. Part of me still wonders if it is too late with too many Americans not wanting to learn, or to be responsible. It is so much more comfortable for too many voters to sit and take handouts of goodies from the government. Time will tell. I will keep writing about individual personal growth and see what happens in 2016.
Reflections -- What do you think of the current state of our nation? How can an attitude of lifelong learning help in improving your life and maybe America? If you have not read Dr. Carson and Candy Carson’s book do so and encourage others as well to read it.