No. 987



One of the best compliments I have received in a long time came from the publisher of a weekly newspaper that runs this column in a small town in Western Kansas. The Spearville News has run my column for about four years now, and while the rate is very modest, the publisher has paid me for six months in advance from the beginning, and he sends me a check without a statement, usually with a brief note.
When I received the last check, Bruce included a two-line statement that read, “Hope things are well with you. Thanks for your common sense.” Now, the reason I place so much value on his statement is because “common sense” seems to be in short supply these days.
While I am grateful for his vote of confidence I want to tell you about someone who we may be able to literally vote for, who has tons of common sense. My common sense could be placed in a thimble while it would take a tractor-trailer rig to carry his.
I am talking about Dr. Ben Carson, the retired head of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. While you may have heard about or know about Dr. Carson, there have been at least two other columns where I presented his books “Gifted Hands” and “America the Beautiful.” Almost a decade ago, a reader over in Bluefield, West Virginia, first told me about this special man and I bought his first book, read it, and have been a fan ever since.
Dr. Carson and his wife Candy have been involved in helping others for a long time, and their foundation called “Carson Scholars Fund” has helped more than 5,000 students in several countries across the world. They strive to place academics on the same level as sports and it is now common knowledge that when a Carson Scholar is in the class, the grades of everyone else goes up. Good for them.
However, he burst on the national scene in 2013 when he was the keynote speaker for the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Quoting from the fly leaf of his latest book “ONE NATION: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future” standing only a few feet from President Obama, he warned his fellow citizens of the dangers facing our country and called for a return to the principles that made America great.
Over the past several months I have seen him being interviewed on a number of different television networks and I am literally amazed at his ability to take a very complex issue and break it down into common everyday language, and then offer some common sense and practical solutions. To be sure, he makes sense, common sense, something many of us long for on the part of our nation’s leaders. One issue that he takes a strong stand on, and I totally agree, is Political Correctness. From my perspective, we need to quit worrying about whether or not something is politically correct and just tell the truth.
In his latest book (that I have just finished reading), he systematically takes our most pressing issues and gives clear-cut solutions that will help us get back on track to doing and being the kind of nation that our forefathers gave us. Some of the topics include: Saving our future, causes of disunity and decline, elitism, bigotry, no winners in political fighting, pushing back, becoming informed, wisdom and knowledge, my brother’s keeper, role models, the origin of morality, and take courage.
The thing I love about Dr. Carson is that he is not a politician. He is a doctor and his rise to success from a very poor background offers hope to anyone who plays by the rules.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)