Friday, April 29, 2011

A Case Showing Religious Faith, Emotion Regulation and Psychological Well-Being

Here is a story of outwardly looking like cursed person who overcame inner inferiority and built up identity with the positive psychological principle, called “think big.” His name is Ben Carson. I describe his story at the end of this post. Actually, I found his story through internet search after reading his book, “think big.”

When he was in elementary school, he was really bad at studying and relationship with classmates. It is natural for uneducated and untrained student to have a tendency to fail at everywhere. Fortunately, his wise mother let him start to read books and get challenged and encouraged by his teacher. With his education, he could build up the ability to regulate his emotion and control his inferiority. Education is one of the proved way to help people who are in struggle to find answers. The more he challenged for better life, the more he needed the energy and motivation which were enable him to deal his present obstacles with developed psychological ability.

These days, many atheists try to study about the comparison of effects between religious faith and atheistic belief and unreasonably conclude that there is no different effect between two. It means that they have already presupposition that religious beliefs are playing a pivotal role for psychological well-being.

With the strong belief that Christian faith is real, it could be not harmful to open door and have a space for discussing the meaningful relationship between religious faith, including other religion, and psychological well-being.

There are a lot of people who have achieved their academic and scientific pinnacles with healthy religious faith. Here is one of them.

Carson was born in Detroit, Michigan. His mother, Sonya, had dropped out of school in the third grade and married at the age of 13. Carson's father abandoned the family after Sonya discovered he had another wife and kids, leaving his mother to fend for him and his brother. However, his mother insisted that he and his brother Curtis Carson, who is now an engineer, read at least two books a week then proceed to write reports on these books for her. This early education and encouragement shaped Carson's future. After graduating with honors from his high school, he attended Yale University, where he earned a degree in Psychology. From Yale, he attended University of Michigan Medical School, where his interest shifted from psychiatry to neurosurgery. Carson's excellent hand-eye coordination and three-dimensional reasoning skills made him a gifted surgeon. After medical school he became a neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. At age 33, he became the hospital's youngest Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery.
In 1987, Carson made medical history by being the first surgeon in the world to successfully separate twins (the Binder twins) conjoined at the back of the head (craniopagus twins). Operations to separate twins joined in this way had always failed, resulting in the death of one or both of the infants. Carson agreed to undertake the operation. The 70-member surgical team, led by Carson, worked for 22 hours. At the end, the twins were successfully separated and can now survive independently. Carson's other surgical innovations have included the first intrauterine procedure to relieve pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin, and a hemispherectomy, in which a young girl suffering from uncontrollable seizures had one half of her brain removed.


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  2. This Doctor is an inspiration to so many people, including myself. His movie is called the Gifted Hands and it shows everything you wrote on your blog. It is worth watching it! When I saw the movie, I could not believe how his life was changed due to the support, love, and encouragement of a mother who refused to let her boys believe they were not smart. Not only did this mother believe in her children but the obedience of the two boys to actually read the books and write the report left me in awe. I once heard someone say that when you do what God has created you to be, it motivates you in a unique way. I believe that when the mother challenged her boys to read, the calling God had placed in both of the boys fueled them to continue to read and begin to believe that they could be smart. I am inspired by this story, and I pray that the Lord can one day motivate me to do what i have been called to do.


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