Gifted Hands, is the story of the renowned Dr. Ben Carson, who as a child grew up in Detroit, Michigan, with his mother and older brother; he had tremendous disadvantages. At one time, when he was young, he had the lowest grades in his class and worst of all he was the only black kid in that class. This gave his white classmates the opportunity to tease the hell outta him. Ben, a hot-tempered child, pounced on anyone that teased him to the last of his patience. This temper would have landed him in big trouble, but thank God, he escaped it. Ben’s mum was really an inspiration in Ben’s life. Her words molded him into the man he’s today. Were it not for her determination to see her boys not end up cleaning factories, Ben would have been a nonentity today. She was an angel sent to Ben to guide him along this journey called life. Though she was an illiterate, her words showed and proved that there was a power or force in her, bigger than what education could render; the wisdom of God. The world needs mothers like Ben’s mum.
Below is an extract of the GIFTED HANDS movie I watched.
1987: This movie started with BEN preparing for an operation, with his favorite music playing in the background. After this, the parents of the unborn sesame twins that Ben would operate on were seated in their physician’s office to hear the result of the ultrasound that was done. The look on their faces showed despair as they just realized that they would be having an OCCIPITAL CRANIOPAGUS twins. Following this, Ben was seen in the operating room when he had a call from his senior colleague to see him after his (ben’s) operation as they had an important issue on ground. When they met, Ben’s senior colleague told him that he received a call from Germany, and that there is a case of an occipital craniopagus twins which were born 3 months earlier. So the hospital would like him(Ben) to go to Germany and examine them. Ben did go, and when he arrived, he met with the parents and physician of the sesame twins.
Mother of twins: I wanted to kill myself when I learnt the truth. But I realized I would be killing 2 other beings too. And as soon as I saw them, my heart melted(with a smile on her face). *The successful operation of these babies was the beginning of Ben’s breakthrough*
Father of twins: Please don’t ask us to choose between them.
Ben: They don’t appear to be sharing any organs which is good. And there are part of the brain such as the vision centres that are completely separated. We won’t know until we go in there
Father of twins: So how soon would it be?
Ben: Well, first we have to solve the problem of exsanguination (bleeding to death). That is the reason why cranial separations haven’t succeeded. You see, babies have very little blood and unless I figure out a way from bleeding out, I can’t risk performing this operation.
*Mum and dad of twins showed disappointment*
Ben went back to Baltimore, Maryland, to reminisce over the meeting he had with the parents of the twins before making a decision.
Fast-forward to where Ben Carson entered the office of his senior colleague and said, “I’ll do it.”
Colleague: Good, thank you. i’ll notify the doctor in Germany, and we will schedule the operation for say a month from now?
Ben: make it 2; make it 4
Colleague: you still haven’t figured out how to save them both, huh?
Ben: am working on it
1961: This scene began with Ben Carson’s middle school teacher calling out the right answers of the test Ben and his classmates just had.
Teacher: Alright class! Hand your tests back to your neighbor. Alright, how many did you get right Cathy?
Teacher: Excellent! Mark?
Teacher: Good for you mark. You got them all right. Benjamin?
Ben: None (with a grimace)
Teacher: Nine? But Benjamin that’s wonderful, am so proud of you
Ben’s classmate: Not 9, Ms., he said “none”
*Ben bowed his head in shame*
The bell rang, and everyone hurried down the hallway to their lockers. As Ben was dropping his book in his locker, some of his classmates came towards him to mock him.
Female classmate: You’ll think he gets at least one right
Male classmate: He got one right the last time, because he was trying to put down the wrong answer
Male classmate: Hey Carson, you know you are the dumbest kid in the class but did you hear of Sonia last night on the news? She is the dumbest kid in the whole world.
With fierce anger, Ben gave him(male classmate) a punch on the face
Next, he was seen in the principal’s office with his mum.
Fast forward to where his mum was asking him about his grades. She said, “you aren’t meant to be a failure, Benny. And you can control your temper, and also bring your grades up.
Ben: I can’t. I am dumb, mother!
Mum: drags him and says, “no you aint”. You are a smart boy. *lowers to his height and says, “ Listen to me! You just ain’t using that smartness. Now, if you keep getting grades like that, you gonna spend the rest of your life mopping floors in the factory.”
Next scene opened with Ben and his bro in the sitting room watching tv. And then, mother comes back from work, turned off the TV, and instructed them to go do their home work. Ben brings his assignment to his mum and asks her for help (Not knowing that his mum doesn’t know how to read).
Mum: What don’t you understand?
Ben: Like, all the words. Could you read this for me?
Mum: Mum looks at it and says, “I’ll need new reading glasses, why don’t you tell me what’s about?”
At that moment, while Ben was trying to read out a word from his textbook, his mum noticed he needed a pair of glasses. This was the period he started wearing glasses
Next day at school, Ben’s teacher distributed the marked test paper to everyone. When she got to Ben, she told him congrats on his grade as there was an improvement. (He got a D!) with excitement, Ben shouted.. “yes!!!”. After school, he told his mum about his grades, and she said, ” well, that’s an improvement, alright! And am proud of you for not getting an F. you are a smart boy. You both (ben and his bro, Curtis) can do better.”
Curtis and Ben: How mum? I don’t know how
Mum: Well, I don’t know how either, we are just gonna use our imagination.
Ben: I ain’t gat one
Mum: Of course you do. Everybody gat an imagination
Ben: Not me
Mum: Of course you do. Listen to me, if I say, “once upon a time, there was a little blue mouse.” Don’t you see a little blue mouse?
Ben: No *shakes head*
Ben: Mother my brain is too dumb
Mum: No way, your brain ain’t dumb
Ben: Yes mum
Mum: *touches Ben’s head, trying to convince him* you’ve gat all the word in here; you just have to see beyond what you see
Fast forward to when Ben went to church with his bro, Curtis. The pastor on the pulpit, speaking with so much enthusiasm, narrated a story to the congregation. As he was on it, Ben imagined himself as the missionary doc in the story. This made him realize that he has an imagination. When he got home, he told his mum and his bro what happened to him during the service. Then his mum said: that’s good; that is your imagination Benny.
In this scene, Ben told his mum that he wants to be a missionary doctor. His mum said, “Benny, you can be anything you want to be in this life, as long as you work hard at it. God will not abandon you.”
Later on, Ben’s mother had to be away for psychiatric treatment, so she said to Ben and Curtis
Mum: am gonna be away for a while
Curtis: what? What do you mean?
Mum: just for a few weeks. I am going to Boston to see your aunt
Curtis: do you want me to come with you?
Mum: NO! you gat school; you gat homework
Ben: so you’re just gonna leave us alone?
Mum: of course not. Sister Scott will come stay with you. For the meantime, I want you boys to do me a favor. I want you both to learn your times table.
Ben: uhhh, what?
Curtis: no way
Mum: you can do it
Ben: do you know how many there are? that could take a year
Mum: it won’t take my boys a year. You smart
Curtis: not that smart. Nobody can memorize it
Mum: I did
Ben: uhhhhh. But it’s hard work
Mum: hard work has never hurt any one
Fast forward to where Ben showed improvement in his studies.
Mark: 25 out of 25
Teacher: excellent! Ben?
Ben: I didn’t cheat
Teacher: I didn’t say you did. What’s your score?
Ben: 24 out of 25
*The whole class looks at him with surprise*
Fast forward to where Ben and Curtis were watching a movie in the sitting room. Mother comes in, moving towards the tv with so much fierceness, she switches off the tv and there goes Ben and Curtis
Ben: hey, what did you do that for?
Curtis: what is going on, I was watching that
Mum: *hanging her bag and jacket* You guys watch too much TV
Ben : not that much
Curtis: what about everybody else?
Mum: don’t worry about everybody else. This whole world is full of everybody else. From now on, you gonna pick three. No, two pre-selected programs per week
Ben: a week?
Curtis: you are crazy. I mean, this is crazy.
Mum: and that’s after you finish your homework
Ben: what are we gonna do with our free time?
Mum: I am glad you asked. You gonna go to the library and pick out two books. At the end of the week, you hand me a written report about what you read
Ben: two books?
Curtis: I don’t believe what you’re saying. How can we possibly survive without television?
Mum: well, you gonna start now. Why do you waste all that time watching tv. If you use that time to develop your God given gifts, it won’t be long before folks start watching you on tv
Wow!!! This woman is an inspiration.
Ok guys, let me give you a run down of the lessons I got from this story.
Lesson 1: you have the entire world in your brain. You just have to see beyond what you see
Lesson 2: the brain is a miracle. I believe in miracles
Lesson 3: you can be anything you want to be if only you believe (in your dream, yourself and above all, in God) and make it happen
Lesson 4: you can do anything anybody else can do; only you can do it better.
Lesson 5: we are all capable of performing miracles, up there in the brain
Lesson 6: we are all blessed with astonishing gifts and skills, just develop it.
Lesson 7: the brain is the channel, the inspiration,the source for unbelievable accomplishments
Lesson 8: mums are angels sent to guide us along this journey, called life.
Lesson 9: take risks. even if you fail, at least you did something. It is better to make the wrong decision than to be indecisive.
Lesson 10: hardwork doesn’t kill
lesson 11: as a brain surgeon, imagination is what set Ben above his colleagues (make use of your imagination today)
lesson 12: No matter your background, God has a great purpose for you. Just learn to trust him
lesson 13: don’t commit abortion or suicide, because you may be killing someone’s breakthrough (remember the comment from the mother of the sesame twins? if you don’t remember, rewind 😉 )
I hope you learnt a lot from reading this!
If you are interested in watching the movie, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDfS3chUOi8
and his documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmgeERw3erQ