Dr. Benjamin Carson, who recently retired as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, appeared on The Glenn Beck Program Tuesday with guest host Kirk Cameron to discuss the importance of education in shaping culture, and what individuals can do to make a difference.
Having grown up in a single parent home in dire poverty, Carson specifically revealed one childhood hobby that he partially credits with shaping him into the inspirational and influential man he is today, by way of the confidence it gave him.
"One of the things that I used to do is, I used to love to memorize things. I memorized poems, memorized Bible verses," he said. "And other people didn't know those things, and it began to make me feel that there was something special about me, and that I could learn things."
He continued: "Even though I [probably] couldn't learn them better than anybody else, I thought I could. And it makes a very big difference, what you actually think you can do."
Of course, that was only one of many factors that contributed to Dr. Carson's success. The neurosurgeon also praised his mother, who only had a third grade education, for never becoming a "victim." He said she was always asking "What can I do? Is there something I can do to change this situation, or to make it better?"
One of the steps Carson's mother took was regularly taking her children to the library, having recognized that people who read a lot "had the ability to change the direction of their lives," Carson said.
In Carson's estimation, the importance of knowledge and education cannot be underestimated both in terms of preserving our liberties, and as a factor in shaping the course of one's life.
The average person lives to be about 80 years old, he said, and they can either spend the first 20-25 years of it preparing, or choosing not to.
"If you prepare yourself, you have sixty years to reap the benefits. If you fail to prepare yourself, you have sixty years to suffer the consequences," he said. "You get to make that choice. Each person gets to make that choice, how they want to program that incredible computer, the brain that God gave us."
Kirk Cameron asserted throughout the program that there are three "levers" that are fundamental in shaping society: education, worldview, and art. Having spoken with Dr. Carson about education, watch his explanation of "worldview," below:
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