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The Big Picture: Getting Perspective on What's Really Important in Life Hardcover – February 1, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1987, pediatric neurosurgeon Carson performed a successful operation that separated two twins born joined at their heads. He has been recognized worldwide for his extraordinary ability to perform intricate medical procedures like intrauterine brain surgery in his dedication to saving lives. But, as he says in this spiritual memoir, he wasn't always so successful. Carson recounts his young life growing up fatherless and with limited opportunities in Detroit. The change in Carson's life came very early, when his mother decided that her children could succeed in spite of their circumstances. Carson began reading two books a week in the third grade and was soon so hungry for knowledge that he read anything he could get his hands on. He performed so well in high school that he was accepted at Yale, and he is now the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Success, he says, is a matter of focusing on the big picture and not the details. So often when we concentrate on the tiny details of life, we forget that God has a larger purpose for us. Using anecdotes from his medical career and scattering biblical illustrations throughout, Carson asserts that we can get a glimpse of the big picture by viewing hardship as an advantage, overcoming a victim mentality and determining priorities. He proposes that if we stop periodically and ask ourselves three questions?When my life is over, what do I want to be remembered for? What do I want to be doing five, 10, and 20 years from now? What do I want to be sure I am not doing five, 10, and 20 years from now??we will have an idea about the ways that the Big Picture can direct our lives. Carson's lively storytelling will capture the hearts of his readers.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

In his grade school days, Ben Carson would hardly have been voted “most likely to become a famous surgeon.” His classmates had already given him another label: class dummy. Then a light clicked on for Ben—and a consuming passion for learning that catapulted him from “zero” test grades to a Yale scholarship, a pioneering role in modern medicine, and an influence that has extended from inner-city schools to corporate boardrooms and Washington corridors of power.

What made the difference? Belief in his own potential, a commitment to education and making the most of his opportunities to learn, determination to make the world a better place, and faith in a God who knows no limits. Seeing the Big Picture.

In The Big Picture, Ben Carson reveals the spiritual and philosophical foundations that undergird not just his dramatic career, but his approach to all of life. As in his best-selling Gifted Hands, Dr. Carson shares colorful, behind-the-scenes anecdotes. As in Think Big, he describes his practical principles for success. But The Big Picture is neither an autobiography nor a personal-effectiveness manual. Rather, it’s a multifaceted look at the faith and vision that can see us all through hardship and failure, and stir us to bold exploits on behalf of something greater than ourselves.

Dr. Carson begins by describing how he cultivated a Big-Picture perspective in his own life. Then he discusses ways in which all of us can approach parenting, family, business, and friendships with the Big Picture in mind. Finally, he looks at some pressing social issues—in particular, racial diversity, health care, and education—and considers how we ought to view them and what we should do about them in the light of the Big Picture.

Drawing on a vast array of experiences in roles ranging from trailblazing surgeon to public speaker to husband and family man, Ben Carson shows how we can turn the course of our lives, our communities, our country, and our world by keeping the Big Picture always in mind -- Publisher

In his grade school days, Ben Carson would hardly have been voted “most likely to become a famous surgeon.” His classmates had already given him another label: class dummy. Then a light clicked on for Ben—and a consuming passion for learning that catapulted him from “zero” test grades to a Yale scholarship, a pioneering role in modern medicine, and an influence that has extended from inner-city schools to corporate boardrooms and Washington corridors of power.

What made the difference? Belief in his own potential, a commitment to education and making the most of his opportunities to learn, determination to make the world a better place, and faith in a God who knows no limits. Seeing the Big Picture.

In The Big Picture, Ben Carson reveals the spiritual and philosophical foundations that undergird not just his dramatic career, but his approach to all of life. As in his best-selling Gifted Hands, Dr. Carson shares colorful, behind-the-scenes anecdotes. As in Think Big, he describes his practical principles for success. But The Big Picture is neither an autobiography nor a personal-effectiveness manual. Rather, it’s a multifaceted look at the faith and vision that can see us all through hardship and failure, and stir us to bold exploits on behalf of something greater than ourselves.

Dr. Carson begins by describing how he cultivated a Big-Picture perspective in his own life. Then he discusses ways in which all of us can approach parenting, family, business, and friendships with the Big Picture in mind. Finally, he looks at some pressing social issues—in particular, racial diversity, health care, and education—and considers how we ought to view them and what we should do about them in the light of the Big Picture.

Drawing on a vast array of experiences in roles ranging from trailblazing surgeon to public speaker to husband and family man, Ben Carson shows how we can turn the course of our lives, our communities, our country, and our world by keeping the Big Picture always in mind -- REVIEW

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan Pub. House; 1 edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310225833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310225836
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #553,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Penelope Card on March 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Big Picture gives one the message, do not overlook the simple things of life, the example of the railway track and the stone, shows that, any action done well, and well explored, can lead to greater things and opportunities of life. Dr. Carson does go into great details of his life's experiences. By the details, I can see similarities between his and mine. In fact, by practicing those household principles his mother taught him, I have been successful in raising two boys to be responsible men. He shows that anyone can live life to its fullest. As Jesus said "He came to give the abundant life." When one lives by Godly principles,success is available to all. Dr Carson gives honor and glory to the best in his life, i.e. honor to his mother, and he gives glory to God. The Big Picture demonstrates that if one man could touch the world with his God given talents, we could all strive to empower others with the same enthusiasm. Everyone can be the victor, and not a victim regardless of one's beginnings. Ben. Carson demonstrates that though we have no choice in our birth condition,and challenges, whether a challenge is of physical, economic, educational or racial origin, we can all contribute to improving our lot in life, and the lot of others globally, by using our brain to educate ourselves, and others, such as our children. The choices we make will in some way impact the world. As consumers of health care, we as individuals have the last say as to whom we wish to provide care,we need to walk the extra mile , and be proactive in achieving compassionate action, for our families and for our community.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Connie Buchanan (cbuch2000@aol.com) on October 26, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
This book goes deep inside the heart and soul of the common person. Ben Carson proves that we can rise above our worst infirmity and become whatever we want to be through sheer tenacity and perseverance of will to be more than a mediocre human being. His mother was a lot like my mother. Our mothers taught us to think for ourselves and not to follow the crowd. They also encouraged us to be whatever we wanted to be in life. I found the book clearly illuminating, that is why I want to buy the audiocassett.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Regardless of the age of your children, all parents should read this book. Dr. Carson is a Christian man who believes in excellence. This book is good for teachers, ministers, laity, and anyone else who is interested in bringing out the best in children of all ages.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. oliver on April 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am impressed with Ben Carson. I am black and a christian. This book and others of his should be required reading for young people, espically black. He shows going somewhere in life is possible and gives helpful information. Many black people are on a high with the election of a black president but I feel Dr. Carson is a much more relevent model. I rarely see anything about him during black history month, thats is to bad. He is the kind of example I wish I could have shown my daughter and that I wish my grandchildren were awear of. I am trying to get them to read at least one of his books.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Middleton on September 24, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It doesn't take much to turn one's life from an idyllic existence to a nightmare. One wrong decision, a stupid action, something spoken out loud on impulse, can bring the wrath of fate tumbling upon you. But the question must be asked, when fate decides to throw a curve ball in your direction, do you face and suffer the consequences, or run and hide, begin a new life and hope against hope that you'll not be found out? This is the basic theme in Kennedy's renowned novel, The Big Picture.

Ben Bradford apparently has it all - a partnership in a distinguished Manhattan law firm, a beautiful house in Connecticut, a pretty wife and two small children. He has enough money to spend without any thought about budgeting. As a wannabe photographer, he has a state of the art dark room in his house, over forty thousand dollars worth of camera equipment and the time to pursue this hobby. Despite seemingly having it all, Mr. Bradford is dreadfully unhappy. The relationship with his beautiful wife is on tenterhooks at best, as they haven't slept together for over a year. He suspects she is having an affair, and his suspicions turn out to be true. The actions he takes in response to this infidelity have dire consequences. Ben's life changes forever, but where does it lead, and can he live with himself and achieve some modicum of happiness?

The Bid Picture is one of the most original thrillers to come out in years. The reading experience will have your palms in a sweat and your heart racing from the beginning. In spite of the protagonist's actions, Kennedy ensures we have great empathy for the character. We want him to get away with it, but will he get away with it and for what price?

For me this book was a pleasurable surprise, as I would have never picked it up unless it was recommended to me. If you want a completely enthralling read that is guaranteed to keep you reading into the dead of night, read The Big Picture - a class act in every way.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
This book should be a MUST READ for every parent and teacher as Dr Carson shares from his own experiences how he was motivated as a poor student to become a well known and respected pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. With fascinating stories from his personal and professional life, Dr Carson weaves his wisdom with great suggestions for the racial, education and health care ills that plague our society today. It is a book you can't put down once you start reading it.
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