It is such an easier path to speak one's mind and offer opinions when those who are affected are not present to listen. It requires much greater intellectual confidence to share your views in the presence of others who may not agree, who may question the validity of the points you make. Dr. Benjamin Carson exhibited the highest order of belief in oneself earlier this month when this acclaimed neurosurgeon and philanthropist delivered keynote comments at a Washington national prayer breakfast. Seated two chairs from the lectern where Dr. Carson spoke, President Barack Obama and the First Lady.
The proximity of the president was felt more acutely the deeper Dr. Carson went into his speech on February 7th. The head of the Carson Scholars Foundation grew up in poverty in Detroit, Michigan. His mother stressed the importance of education. Carson failed at first, but through work and discipline excelled. He ended up at Yale University, the University of Michigan Medical School and Johns Hopkins University. He gained acclaim for his ability to successfully separate conjoined twins. All the while he was thinking and considering how the world and our nation could be better place.
At the prayer breakfast he disarmed the gathering with humor and sharing his dislike for political correctness. He talked of Jesus as his role model. He discussed the importance of education as the key for people rising up from troubled lives. He talked about the importance of teaching responsibility.
This accomplished man, understated speaker and son of a minister then hit some issues that revealed his conservative political beliefs. He went after the enormous and rapidly growing national debt. He proposed a drastic simplification of the tax code and a reduced tax burden. He applauded the concept of healthcare savings account that are funded by individuals and carried with them for life.
He did this all with the second term Democratic president sitting just two seats away. Dr. Carson was calculated in his remarks. After all he has a new book that debuted just two weeks before the Washington breakfast. He made mention of it here and there, but it was the content of his talk and the demeanor in which it was delivered that vaulted him into the national conversation.
My father directed me to the speech. If you'd like get the wheels in your mind turning take a moment and listen. If anything you will witness a man with the intellectual confidence to share his ideas two feet away from the President of the United States.
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