“Benjamin, is this your report card?” my mother asked me as she picked up the folded white card from the table.
“Umm, yeah,” I said trying to sound casual. Too ashamed to hand it to her, I had dropped it on the table, hoping that she would not notice until after I went to bed. I was in fifth grade. Most of my classmates considered me the dumbest kid in the class and the rest of them the dumbest kid in the world. They frequently made jokes about me. Before long, I too began to feel as though I was the most stupid kid in fifth grade. Despite mother’s frequently saying, “You are smart, Bennie. You can do anything and everything you want to do,” I did not believe her.
While slowly she read my report card, reading everything one word at a time, I hurried into my room and started getting ready for my bed. A few minutes later mother came into my bedroom.
“Benjamin,” she said, “are these your grades?” She held the card in front of me as if I had not seen it before. “Oh yeah, but you know it does not mean much.”
“No, that’s not true Benjamin. It means a lot.”
“It’s just a report card.”
“But it is more than that.”
“Benjamin, Education is the only way you are ever going to escape poverty,” she said. “It is the only way you are ever going to get ahead in life and be successful. Do you understand that?”
“Yes, Mother,” I mumbled.
“But I just can’t do better,” I said.
“No, you are just not living upto your potential. You need to work more. From now on you will not watch Television except for two pre selected programs and that too after doing your daily home work.”
“Furthermore you will go to library every weekend and read one extra book,” mother said.
Once the dumbest kid of the world is now known as Dr Benjamin Carson. He is famous as the world’s most successful pediatric neurosurgeon and the world calls him genius. The nation calls him a messiah and former the president of United States of America, Jorge W Bush, awarded him the highest civilian award of the nation – ‘President’s National Award of Freedom’. Dr Benjamin Carson is Director of John Hopkins Medical University; he is a celebrated author, educator, great motivational speaker and a social activist.
Benjamin’s mother changed his destiny by making him quit TV and embrace reading. Being black and son of a single mother parent who did the chore work in houses of the rich taken away all the opportunities. But his mother made it possible for him to be successful by giving gift of faith, helping make habit of reading books and break habit of watching TV. There are more than a thousand book clubs and many other schools on his name today.
Though he has already moved from ‘I have a dream to I am the dream.’ As millions of students and their parents look up to Benjamin Carson to be like him or make their kids like him. But still Benjamin Carson cherishes a dream of setting nation’s largest scholarship scheme for students across the United States of America on his mother Mrs Sonya Carson’s name.
I have read two books by Dr Carson; am really influenced and improved by his ideas and stories. One - ‘Gifted Hands – which is his biography. It has also been converted into a fantastic movie with same name ‘Gifted Hands’. The other book is - ‘THINK BIG’. His life is all about gratefulness for mother, teacher and books. Especially for mother, Dr Benjamin Carson says, ‘A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.’
I truly believe, motherhood has the greatest influence in human life. On personal front let me borrow a quote from Abraham Lincoln to express my gratitude for my mother. 'All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.'
Today, on the mother’s day, ‘I salute all the mothers of yesterday, today and tomorrow.’ Let us pledge to make her happy and keep on doing this for her entire life and beyond. For me, it is quite simple as she is particular only about two things. One, how caring husband am I to my wife? Two, how good instrument of service am I to others?