One Nation, Ben Carson Preface & Chapter 1
If you have ever followed me during a book study, you will discover that I do not editorialize as much as I pull out key statements from what the author has written as a means to focus your attention. Of course, as a “Behavourial Economist” who spends her day working with individuals to help them get more from their money, my focus tends to be on how our monetary choices reveal our character and vice versa.
As such, when we delve into the Preface of Ben Carson’s One Nation, I am struck by the bold and simultaneously humble unapologetic tone of the speech that he delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast in which almost every politician could have taken offense but I sure hope more than naught had at least a moment for authentic introspection. Specifically, Carsonaddresses the issue of polarization of ideas such that we can no longer see the forest for the trees – the trees of words and language that so many chose to deem “offensive” such that, again, honest and open conversation can not occur and therefore one can not see the similarities amongst the differences.
Carson is really calling each of us to action insofar as you need to ask, “Am I so sensitive, so fragile, that I can not hear what someone is saying beyond their words?” Please remember, we are limited not just by our time and space and therefore our experiences butthe American citizen reading level is anyway between 5th and 8th grade which also means one’s vocabulary and ability to choose “better” words to convey their heart and mind is simply, well, limited. Ultimately, Carson writes his book almost as a direct conversation with you – how are YOU part of the solution?.....or will you remain part of the problem?
So what can one person do? Carson writes, “Communities, political parties, business organization, the news media, educational institutions, and the government can all work to turn our nation around, but the most important changes will be made by you and me, the American individuals. Each of us can control only our own behavior, but if we all take action individually, our actions will collectively have a significant impact on the direction of our nation. As individuals, we can educate ourselves and our children, cultivate the art of compromise, pray for wisdom and hold our representatives accountable.”
To be part of this solution, however, requires the facts and the facts always have a past that must be understood. You can not understand where you are going if you don’t know where you have been. And, please, stop shaming yourself over your past whether you directly participated or not; it is what it is and it happened. As such, the real question is, is the past “worthy” of repeating? If not, learn from it and make course corrections but do not shame yourself, your people, your neighbor because of it.“All citizens need to arm themselves with a basic knowledge of American history and stay abreast of current events, analyzing them with respect to history. Knowledge is power and at a time when the people are becoming increasingly impotent while the government grows larger and more powerful, it is vital that we arm ourselves with knowledge.”
Finally, Carson offers a word of encouragement knowing that when you speak out with honesty and authenticity you will most likely trip over your words and ideas as you work out your own truths. “Because there are consequences for standing up for your beliefs in the current distorted version of America, one has to be very courageous when standing up to malicious influences or even while engaging I healthy dialogue with our neighbors about important issues.”
Please continue reading “One Nation” and we will cover chapters 2-3 next week.
Until then, Does your financial plan maximize what you have today without undermining your tomorrow? Are you willing to learn about processes and systems rather than products and quick fixes? I am here to help guide and instruct you, no matter what level you’re at.One Nation Book Study
On Ben Carson’s website he states that the reason he wrote “One Nation” is “to try to convince our fellow Americans that ‘we the people’ are not each other’s enemies and that our strength is derived from unity and common sense, which should be ubiquitous. The real enemies are the forces that are constantly trying to divide and conquer. They create divisions based on race, gender, age, education and, especially, income. It is important that we discuss who the purveyors of division are and what drives them to seek a radical alteration in the American way of life.”
When I finished the book I could not help but want to be part of the solution which means I do what I do best and that is to engage others in a dialogue as we educate ourselves. Thus, join me in an online book study during which we will read 2 chapters a week and discuss them via an online exchange. I will post my thoughts via weekly blogs on my website.
As such, order the book (the link is to the left) and read the Preface and Chapter 1 by July14th. We will read two chapters each week thereafter so we can dialogue online.
Finally, “who knows what tomorrow holds for each of us and for our nation? We have no time to waste. Today is the day to act. Resolve to take one step toward helping our nation return to greatness. If we all do so, we cannot fail to remain ‘one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’”
I look forward to increasing our collective knowledge so that we can make wise decisions for ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation.Preface and Chapter1