George Washington Carver
Many people today are looking in all the wrong places for the solution to our country’s problems. They’re looking for a political savior instead of looking in the mirror and recognizing their own God-given potential. If we truly want to rebuild this country from the ground up, we’re not going to do it by electing more or better government officials — we’re going to do it by rebuilding the country ourselves.
And that’s why I want to tell you about the inspiring documentary film called George Washington Carver: An Uncommon Way.
Carver was born on July 12, 1864, in the midst of one of the most turbulent decades of the 19th century. He was born a slave. He never knew his father. And while he was still an infant, his mother went missing during a raid. She was never seen again. To add insult to injury, Carver was denied even basic education because he was black.
If you had been young George, would you have thought that you could amount to very much? Probably not. But Carver didn’t let his humble beginnings deter him. At the age of 13, he left the home where he lived with only a pair of extra pants, his speller, and his favorite rocks. And thus began a lifetime dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and the service of his fellow man.
During his life, Carver developed more than 300 different products from the peanut; 175 from the sweet potato; and 60 from the pecan. Not only that, he discovered how to extract 500 different colors from the Alabama clay and invented many more products. He used to travel to his neighbors’ farms and teach them better methods for growing crops, how to enrich depleted soil, and how to improve their lives. He was passionate about helping the poor to “climb the golden ladder.”
Imagine what our nation would look like if we had more people like George Washington Carver — self-made men and women who sincerely cared for and selflessly served their neighbors. Imagine the difference we could make!
Even though Carver earned nicknames like “The Plant Doctor,” “The Peanut Man,” and even “The Black da Vinci,” he never let it go to his head. He was a humble man until the end. And when Thomas Edison offered him $100,000 a year to work for him, Carver politely turned it down because the people of the south still needed him.
Carver was a great man who lived a great life, which is why I encourage you to get the George Washington Carver: An Uncommon Way documentary DVD for your friends and family this season. Carver’s life is an inspiration. And if we all had the work ethic, resourcefulness, and dedication to improving our world that Carver did, we just might be able to rebuild our country from the ground up… without ever asking the government for help.