Dr. Ben Carson is exceptional in many ways.
He’s retired from being one of the world’s pre-eminent neurosurgeons. He’s a leading African-American conservative. He became a national sensation when he spoke out against big-government health care at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this year.
But being exceptional is nothing new for him. His entire life and career are a testament to rising above difficult circumstances.
Raised by a divorced mother in Detroit, Carson had to overcome bad grades, a bad temper, a hopeless environment and more to get where he is today. He did it with a focused, motivated, assertive mother who minimized his TV time and required him to read incessantly and write about what he read.
Today, he has quietly become one of the country’s top thinkers, hottest speakers and best role models.
On Tuesday night, Dr. Carson will be here to speak at the Augusta Care Pregnancy Center banquet.
The sold-out event, which helps the nonprofit serve women and girls in crisis pregnancies and steer them toward life for their babies and better lives for themselves, will nearly double in size this year, to nearly 1,600 people, thanks in large part to Carson’s celebrity and popularity.
Ironically, that’s about how many women and girls in crisis the center helped last year with counseling and prenatal services, food and shelter, and many other needs.
The most eye-popping statistic, though? An estimated 82 babies saved.
If anyone else in the community had saved that many lives, they’d be hailed as heroes.
Well, they are.
What an incredible coup for the Augusta CPC, Director Susan Swanson and her staff to land Dr. Carson. They annually bring in a top-tier national speaker, but they’ve managed to grab one on a huge crest this year.
Dr. Carson is regularly talked about in conservative circles as a presidential favorite. But that buzz truly ought to transcend politics and ideologies. Gentle Ben Carson isn’t preaching conservatism; he’s talking the traditional values of family, education, individual freedom and responsibility that made this country what it is – or at least what it used to be.
He’s an exception – the numbers don’t bode well for children of one-parent homes – who may be in the best possible position to emphasize the rule: Those blessed to come from married households with strong values and a focus on education, and who avoid pregnancy out of wedlock, have the inside edge to a better life.
That’s not a political or religious position. It’s an objective fact. Why are the media so afraid to tell that story?
Swanson says she hopes Dr. Carson’s speech will energize the audience to go forth and create the kind of community – and country – that gives children their best chance for success.
That would be an even bigger coup.