Keep Those Problems Coming

Recently, my husband and I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Ben Carson speak. For the moment, I’d like to put aside his presidential aspirations to focus on one insight he gave us into his life. 

Speaking of his adolescence, Dr. Carson told us how closely he came to succumbing to an explosive temper and badly hurting or even murdering someone. By God’s grace, his blows were deflected and the horror at what had almost happened propelled him to put himself in God’s hands and ask for His help. 

Just imagine. Instead of becoming a world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon, saving lives and being a blessing to so many, Dr. Carson could have been one more inmate of juvenile hall, on a path to a life either wasted or a curse to those around him. 

At the age of seventeen, Chris Wilson did commit a murder and was sentenced to life in prison. While incarcerated he made a decision that even if his life was spent behind bars, he would keep learning and strive to help others. At 33, a judge saw the person behind the sentence and gave Wilson a chance. He is now a hard-working entrepreneur on parole, giving ex-prisoners a chance to re-enter society through his business. 

In Israel today, thirteen and fourteen year old boys and girls are acting on the message of hatred they have been receiving since birth and stabbing Israelis. They, like the teenaged Dr. Carson and Mr. Wilson, grew up in a society that failed them, not with a lack of money, but with a lack of positive values. 

What to do with teenagers who commit heinous crimes is a valid question. Do we lock them up for the rest of their lives or not? Yet, that question lets us, as a society, off the hook. Imagine if we discovered that the drinking water in a city was poisoning the inhabitants. Citizens would be appalled and the government would provide millions of dollars for compensation to those who lost family members, while making sure that blood transfusions and hospital care for those who were sickened was available. All this is meaningless if no changes are made to the water supply. Even as we were trying to cope with the disaster, the next group of people would be being poisoned. 

Isn’t it better to fix the problem and then deal with past consequences rather than keeping the flow of harm running, while racing to cope with the ever-increasing number of casualties? I cringe when politicians speak of the importance of higher education for minorities and lower income families. How about fixing elementary schools first rather than pushing colleges to enroll illiterate individuals with poor study habits? What is the point if at the same time the next batch of first graders is destroyed? I am disgusted when politicians shed crocodile tears for inner city youth while promoting programs that work against marriage and demanding that only ideas that reject traditional Judeo-Christian values must be disseminated in the public square. I recoil when politicians pontificate about violence in the Middle East and don’t withhold funding from groups that run TV shows for preschoolers that teach violence and hatred against Jews and Christians. 

Like many Americans, I have views on Dr. Carson’s candidacy. Wherever you fall on that question, we all should recognize the catastrophe in the making as human potential gets wasted while adults, who should be wiser, betray the youth for whom we are responsible.

9 thoughts on “Keep Those Problems Coming”

  1. spanishgirl182006

    Hi Susan. I really admire Dr. Ben Carson for his work as a neurosurgeon, but I’m worried that his candidacy is bad for religion. My religion happens to be similar to Seventh Day Adventist beliefs that he has and recently, I’ve seen a lot of articles in the news about SDA beliefs. These articles were trashing his religion and mocking it and bringing negative publicity. It seems like only bad media attention will come of this. If our religion receives publicity, it’ll will just be laughed at and scorned. Even though, he seems like such a nice person, I wish he weren’t running at all.

  2. I love The Hiding Place. Corrie ten Boom also wrote another book – I think called something to do with ‘My Father’s House’ where she talks about the way her parents instilled religion and values in her. Both books are amazing and important to read.

  3. What you said lines right up with a book I read this week: Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. I kept telling parts of it to my kids, and then they recognize some of those stories from lessons at church. One was about forgiveness and true love as Corrie faced an SS guard years after her time in the concentration camp. She really struggled to find those loving characteristics that she had always believed in before. Yet she made the effort and did so.
    It’s so easy to be angry in our culture these days. It feels so much like power. It makes it out like we got something coming to us. Really it just blocks us from real life, the life of love. I can’t thank you enough for pointing us towards the truth so steadily and so honestly. I hope and pray we find ways to stop the spread of this hate and madness.

  4. Thanks, James. I couldn’t get on line last week from where we were. I just had no connection. I think you are right in targeting conservative Blacks – Don’t forget Justice Thomas. I am very sorry to say that I think there are serious accusations against Bill Cosby that seem to be backed up. However, Bill Clinton gets excused when there is a substantial rape accusation, so your point stands.

  5. I had read Dr. Carson’s book and knew the role his mother played in setting him and his brother on the right path. What struck me about what he said is that at a certain point, he had to make a decision. One of the people he almost struck, until his brother grabbed his arm, was his mother. He turned his anger over to God at that point.

  6. Hi Susan:
    While I was listening to Ben Carson speak recently, I clearly heard him use a phrase or articulate a concept that distinctly suggested to me that he has listened to Rabbi Lapin’s message of Ancient Jewish Wisdom.”
    And now I’m seeing a photo of the three of you together! How wonderful.
    Shalom Shabbat,

  7. Teaching hate is so much easier than teaching love. I was reading this morning in 1 Corinthians 13 “?.. and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up…”
    ‭‭Love keeps no record of wrong. That is so difficult. Whatever injustice those who hate want to hang on to will not give them peace. Dr. Carson’s story is so beautiful. If only more mothers would see what his mother saw and follow her example. She wanted more for her boys and taught them how to achieve beyond their wildest dreams. She wouldn’t let them use any kind of excuse but propelled them to strive forward on their own. They made their future, not anyone else. Everyone should watch the movie, “Gifted Hands” just to see that we all have choices to make and we can move forward. No one holds us back unless we allow it. I guess that is not a blanket statement but we all have the choice to either decide to hate or to love, with no records of wrongs. I personally know I can’t do that without the help of God.
    Israel, and it’s people, Jewish and Arab, should be in our prayers daily. We must never give up.
    Hope your trip to Israel was good family time despite the turmoil and apprehension! You are back now? Blessings!

  8. Hey – we sure missed you last week! Welcome back! Anyway, Dr. Ben Carson is a fine individual who allowed his wise mother to rescue him from an insidious undercurrent of pernicious dys-culture of the ‘hood. His mother knew that hate is encouraged and inciting violence is carefully taught! He listened to his mother, got with the program, kept his nose to the grindstone and made a positive contribution to the world. It sickens me to see the leftist talking heads go for him as they have done many times, as exemplified in last night’s Third Republican Debate. Since they have done the same for other positive role models of the Black Community, it causes me to suspect that Herman Cain and even Bill Cosby were singled out and set up to be publicly pilloried, tarred and feathered for daring to foment a Black Exodus from the Democratic Government Plantation. Talk about hypocritical politicians shedding crocodile tears en route to the slaughter! George Washington Carver I believe it was, who prophesied (ca. 1915?) that the Black man would now do well in America, if not for racial vultures who perpetually delight in reopening old wounds, turning the knife and pouring salt and lemon juice into old wounds, to reap political advantage and obscene profit from keeping the old wounds alive and smarting. But God is watching!

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