Saturday, 14 September 2013



There was a surgeon at Johns Hopkins named Ben Carson, now retired. A brain surgeon. A black guy.  I remember that he was the first guy to separate two Siamese twins joined at the head, and to then hook up the wires and make them both work.

What can one say about such a person except to say to yourself that you are very puny indeed in comparison.

But this is what he said. I think I read it in the Johns Hopkins magazine many years ago. I am paraphrasing, liberally.

THINK BIG, he said, and then he explained what he meant.

T is for Talent. Talent is something within us, but it is not on the surface. You first have to find it, and then develop it, and this will be a long process, indeed a lifetime process.

H is for Honesty. Be honest with people and yourself, and you will find that in the long run, it will be repaid a thousand fold.

I is for Insight. This you gain from talking to, and listening to people. Anyone. A rich man is no richer than a poor man, and everyone is a thread in the tapestry of life.

N is for Nice. Each day you should perform a random act of kindness, not for personal gain, but for the gain of others. It may be something as insignificant as holding a door open, or smiling at someone. Smile. It becomes you and soon you become it. A nice person can make a difference.

K is for Knowledge. The more you know, the more ignorant you realise you are. There are 35mln seconds in each year, much of them spent asleep. Don't waste them. Acquire knowledge. Leave no lost time. To be bored is to admit you have no inner resources.

B is for books. Reading is the active acquisition of knowledge, and requires nothing more than concentration, quiet, and the ability to reflect and dream.

I is for imagination, for it is this uniquely human trait which allows us to soar above the rest of the animal kingdom.

And G.....G is for God, because now matter how great, how smart, how rich, or how powerful we think we are, we pale into insignificance next to the power of the Universe.

But if we think big, we can tap into some of this power, and our short time on the planet will be all the better for it, as will the lives of those with whom we come into contact.


  1. You lost me at G. But that's going pretty far. And being an absolute relativist, I can relate by substituting it by Ganesh or Guatever.

  2. Yeah. This is not an exhortation to go to church or indeed for any religion, however. It is however, an acknowledgement that whether we like it or not, we are all connected. Guatever. Past. Present and Future.

  3. Good stuff! Even though I spent much of today in temple (it being Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement), reading this was the perfect cap to this holiday.

  4. Printed out to stick on the wall - a reminder to quietening a personal sense of ego in all its manifestations

    1. Hey Charlotte. Sorry, I just saw this comment . Hope it resonates. It did with me. Love to all E