Sunday, October 11, 2015

Uniquely Suited to Stress

Tonight I watched Gifted Hands, a 2009 film that chronicles Dr. Ben Carson's background and medical career. It's a remarkable story.

I haven't given much thought to the idea of Carson for president, but I may need to re-evaluate. As I watched this show, I couldn't help but think that the presidency is a job often described in terms of its stress, pressure, and responsibility. We often hear or read what a "difficult job" the presidency is.

You want to talk about stress? Try stopping the hearts of infant twins conjoined at the skull and having just one hour to repair the bleeding blood vessel in their brain that will kill them if you don't fix it. Now, that's a bit of pressure to put a meeting with Putin in perspective.

I recently heard a radio interview with Dr. Carson in which he was asked about the famous "3:00 AM phone call," the hypothetical crisis that wakes the president and requires a split-second decision on what immediate action to take. In his mild-mannered way, Carson chuckled softly and replied that he had "probably had more 3:00 AM phone calls" than any of the other presidential candidates. And probably every one of those nighttime calls involved an urgent question that needed an instant answer. That's a unique qualification worth considering.

Carson is startling, almost incredible, in his direct and honest responses. I don't know if he can win the presidency with such candor. But based on what he has learned, overcome, and achieved in his life, I think that if by some wild chance Carson does win, he'll do the job well.