Legendary neurosurgeon and Republican candidate in 2016 for U.S President, Ben Carson reveals how reading the book of Proverbs transformed his life from a troublesome teenager to a focused goal orientated individual.
Source: Achievement Org
Interviewer: We’ve also read that you had to overcome a terrible temper.
Benjamin Carson: I had an incredibly horrible temper. I was one of those people who thought they had a lot of rights, and of course, the more rights you think you have, the more likely someone is to infringe upon them. And I did get into fights, I would injure people. I tried to hit my mother in the head with a hammer. I would just become irrational because I would get so angry. It all culminated one day when
Another youngster angered me, and I had a large camping knife and I tried to stab him in the abdomen, and fortunately he had on a large metal belt buckle under his clothing and the knife blade struck with such force that it broke and he fled in terror. But, I was more terrified as I recognized that I was trying to kill somebody over nothing. This was after I had turned my grades around. I was an A student at that time, but I realized at that moment that with a temper like that, my options were three: reform school, jail or the grave. None of the options appealed to me. So, I just locked myself up in the bathroom and I started praying and I said, “Lord, I can’t deal with this temper.” And, I picked up my Bible and I started reading from the Book of Proverbs. That was the first day that I started doing it, and I’ve been doing it every day since then because it had all these verses in it about anger, and it seemed like they were all applicable to me. And, while I was there, I had a revelation and that revelation was that the reason I was always angry is because I was always in the center of the equation. So, just step out of the center of the equation and then everything won’t be directed at you, and then you won’t be angry, and also, you’ll be able to look at things from other people’s points of view. Also, where I lived, you know, it was sort of like a macho thing. You get angry, you kick down the wall and punch in the window and it makes you into a big man. But, I came to understand that when you react like that, it actually is a sign of weakness because it means that other people and the environment can control you, and I decided that I didn’t want to be that easily controlled. And, I’ve never had another problem with temper since that day.
There were so many verses in the Book of Proverbs about anger. If you get an angry man out of trouble you’re just going to wind up doing it again, because anger is always going to have him in trouble. And “A man who can control his temper is mightier than a man who can conquer a city.” If people can make you angry, they can control you. So, why do you want to give up control to every little insignificant person walking along?
From that point on, I found it much more interesting to watch people try to make me angry, knowing that they weren’t going to succeed. I almost made a game out of it. I was able to take myself out of the center of the equation, to look at things from other people’s perspective, not to feel that all the rights belong to you. Once you can do that, the things that make you angry become few and far between.
Check out the full interview here: Achievement.org
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