There are many inner cities in America where hopelessness runs rampant. The inhabitants see themselves as victims, manipulated by certain members of society: the rich, the police, government, big business, the law etc. They view themselves as hopelessly poor and abandoned. When you become hopeless, than the laws under which you live no longer have meaning. Society becomes “the man” against whom you must wage war. When you see civil unrest in the inner cities, what you are really seeing is an abandonment of the concept of individual responsibility for your life, en masse. In this civil unrest, you are seeing an inner city manifestation of a belief of hoplessness that is fertilized within each household.
But hopelessness is a mindset. Don’t believe me? Dr. Ben Carson was raised by a single mother in the ghettos of Detroit. Concerned that their sons, Ben and Curtis, were taking the wrong path in life, Sonya Carson made a fateful decision that altered all of their lives forever. Sonya Carson, a single mother with a third grade education, turned the T.V. off for her kids, limiting them to only two hours of T.V. a week and forced her two young boys to read two books every week and then write a summary of what they read and what they learned from their reading. Each week they would hand their mom this summary for her to review. Sonya would mark up the summary with notations and hand the summary back to her boys. Reading for learning, soon became a daily habit for Ben and Curtis.
What the boys didn’t know until they were in high school was that their mother, Sonya, was illiterate. She could not read their book summaries. But intuitively Sonya knew that reading for learning was a way out of the ghettos. Sonya did not believe life was hopeless. That belief was pulled, like a weed, from their lives. Hopelessness never had a chance to take root in their family household.
Ben Carson went on to become a world famous neurosurgeon and is going to run for President of the United States. Curtis Carson went on to become a senior mechanical engineer with Honeywell, specializing in developing braking systems for aircraft. Sonya went on to get her GED, went on to college and in 1994 received an honorary doctorate degree from Spalding University. All of Sonya’s grandchildren attend college or graduate school in prestigious higher education institutions.
Sonya Carson believed in individual responsibility. When you take individual responsibility for your life, the limiting belief of hopelessness never has a chance to take root. What we are really seeing across America in the growing civil unrest within our inner cities, is the abandonment of individual responsibility and the belief that life is hopeless. This belief is fertilized by certain civil rights activists and certain powerful politicians, whose political agendas depends upon a growing sense of hopelessness in America’s inner cities. The solution is simple: parents must instill in their kids a sense of hope by embracing individual responsibility for their lives. Until parents abandon the notion that they are victims of certain elements of society, civil unrest will grow in America’s inner cities. Parents are the cure for hopelessness. No one else.