Take the Risk

Written by Dr. Benjamin Carson, world’s most renowned pediatric neurosurgeon from the prestigious John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, USA

I read this book in 2009 when my former boss recommended this (and let me borrowed the book) as one of the greatest books he ever read. So I was a little bit curious. I read it in just two days because I couldn't put it down! The content is so inspiring, I could feel the thudding of my heart as if bursting with awe and admiration to the author.

This book relates the true-to-life story how Dr. Carson winded up the battle of insecurities and inferiority deep within him while growing up in a society dominated with "white superiority", he eventually emerged triumphant, armed with his unique intellect and determination to succeed, and became one of the most successful medical practitioners in the world in the field of neurosurgery.

This book offers great lessons in life, that amidst poverty people still has the right to dream big things in life. Dr Carson shared here how his illiterate mother raised him and his brother in a very decent way despite the cruel circumstances of their lives. His mother taught him to discard disappointment and discouragement for him to reach what he wanted in life. He  had numerous sharing here, including the bullying of the people in his surroundings just because he is black and poor.

I learned one of the best lessons he shared, that we should never be afraid to take risk because it is part of the package of success. In his part, he used it as an opportunity to grow, improve himself and discover the wonders of living a beautiful life. As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Carson is not a stranger to death, he had seen it almost everyday, and taking risk to save one’s life is his best option to change the face of death on the operation table. In his life’s career, Dr. Carson already performed the most daring procedures in medical history just to save many hopeless cases. He pioneered the operation of separating congenital twins and fatal seizure attacks.

Dr. Carson was part of the medical team that daringly performed the most dangerous medical procedure in world history---the separation of adult congenital twins, the Bejani twins from Iran. He agreed to be a part in the medical team because the twins were determined to be separated even if it would cost their lives both. The operation, which lasted for 52 hours, was conducted in Singapore and was broadcasted worldwide in 2003.

Unfortunately, the two did not come out alive because of massive blood loss but they were successfully separated at the time of their death. Dr. Carson said he was extremely devastated with the result and revealed “it was the kind of pain I would never want to experience again”. After reading the book, I was struck with so much sadness too and kept flipping the pages where the highlight of the operation was explained by Dr. Carson.

This book will teach us how to take a bold risk to discover what’s beyond life and fear. I love this book so much that I read it four times before returning it to my boss.

Dr. Ben Carson was awarded by US President George W. Bush in 2008 with Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest accolade of heroism a US president can bestow to a civilian who made an extraordinary contribution in a certain field of specialization.

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