Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It Takes Hard Work

Today, Nicholas came home from school with big crocodile tears in his eyes.
He showed me his spelling test.  
He bombed the test, and I could see he felt very heavy about it.
He kept saying the dreaded "I am stupid." 
phrase over and over again, and it broke my heart.
I decided to read to him a very inspiring story
 I heard in General Conference last October.  
It was about a man named Ben Carson:

"Ben Carson said of himself, 
"I was the worst student in my whole fifth-grade class." 
One day Ben took a math test with 30 problems. 
The student behind him corrected it and handed it back. 
The teacher, Mrs. Williamson, started calling each student's name for the score. 
Finally, she got to Ben. Out of embarrassment, he mumbled the answer. 
Mrs. Williamson, thinking he had said "9," 
replied that for Ben to score 9 out of 30 
was a wonderful improvement. The student behind Ben then yelled out, 
"Not nine! … He got none … right.” Ben said he wanted to drop through the floor.

At the same time, Ben's mother, Sonya, faced obstacles of her own. 
She was one of 24 children, 
had only a third-grade education, and could not read. 
She was married at age 13, was divorced, had two sons, 
and was raising them in the ghettos of Detroit. Nonetheless, 
she was fiercely self-reliant and had a firm belief that 
God would help her and her sons if they did their part.

One day a turning point came in her life and that of her sons. 
It dawned on her that successful people for whom she 
cleaned homes had libraries—they read. 
After work she went home and turned off the television 
that Ben and his brother were watching. 
She said in essence: You boys are watching too much television. 
From now on you can watch three programs a week. 
In your free time you will go to the library—
read two books a week and give me a report.

The boys were shocked. Ben said he had never read a book in his entire 
life except when required to do so at school. 
They protested, they complained, they argued, 
but it was to no avail. Then Ben reflected, 
"She laid down the law. I didn't like the rule, but her determination
 to see us improve changed the course of my life."

And what a change it made. By the seventh grade, he was at the top of his class. 
He went on to attend Yale University on a scholarship, 
then Johns Hopkins medical school, where at age 33 he became 
its chief of pediatric neurosurgery and a world-renowned surgeon."

You probably have heard of this man because he is the Dr. Ben Carson
 who successfully separated twins conjoined at the head.  
He is also running for president.
What an exceptional story of a very inspiring example
 to others who struggle from time to time 
as we all do, and today, like Gigs.
We have the power to change. 
 Sometimes, it takes lots of hard work and dedication.

* * * * *
{Mr. Nielson and I are hosting a one-on-one 
private chat today from 10 to noon MDT.  
Come talk about the Mormon faith and any
 other questions you may have.  
These chats are private, and anyone is welcome!
Let's chat Here}

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