THE DIFFERENCE ONE LIFE CAN MAKE
THOMAS EDISON – ONE OF THE GREATEST INVENTORS OF ALL TIME; HE “LIGHTED UP” THE WORLD.
“I never perfected an invention that I did not think in terms of the service it might give others…I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”
- THOMAS EDISON
Most times greatness does not lie in superficial glamour in palaces but rather in the crucible of low estimation by men shrouded in ridicule; forged by the suffering of the present, handicapped by circumstances but growing through it to make an indelible mark on the timeline of life and a remarkable difference in the world.
Let’s unravel the thrilling story of Thomas Alva Edison.
AN OBSERVER VERSUS AN INVESTOR
Thomas Edison had less than 3 months of formal education. His teacher and his school mates labeled him, “stupid.”
On a particular day, Edison told his mother about hearing the teacher tell the inspector at school that he was “addled” and it would be of no use to keep him in school any longer.
Guess what Edison’s mother did? His mother matched off to school with her son and told all within range of her voice that her son, Thomas Alva Edison, had more brains than the teacher or the inspector.
Wow! What a mother with guts of conviction.
Thomas Edison reveals in his later years about his mother, “She cast over me an influence which has lasted all my life. The good effect of her early training I can never lose. My mother was always kind, always sympathetic, and she never misunderstood or misjudged me.”
Observers cannot see beyond, to the inner core of the child’s internal framework that embodies unopened birth gifts, potentials, character, intelligence, and ability, which surpass physical beauty in all its ramifications.
Then there are people who are not just observers, but who are also investors just like Thomas Edison’s mother. These people can see and appreciate the depths of ability, potentials, intelligence, and goodness that are inherent in the child.
They look beyond the performance of the child to the inner core from which the performance emanates. They understand that they must make an adequate investment in the child by applying discipline and love to the mind of the child and polish it with appreciation and encouragement so that its beauty can shine.
THE KING IN EVERY KID
Thomas Edison’s parents played contrasting roles in his life; while his mother played a supportive role that enabled Edison to rule out failure and roll in success into his life. However, Thomas Edison’s father played a condescending role in his life that could have “strangled” the king in him if not for his mother’s positive influence.
In his later years, Edison reveals, “My father thought I was stupid, and I almost decided I must be a dunce.”
His father repeatedly told him that he could make nothing of his son that the boy seemed wanting in ordinary good sense. He was trying; he was vexing, he was forever curious and forever asking “foolish questions.”
It’s surprising to realize that some parents choose to be only an observer in the lives of their children rather than an investor. While they may desperately want their child to change for the better, their consistent words, actions, as well as inaction toward the child perpetuate and deepens the weaknesses of the child which they seek to change.
As Mahatma Gandhi rightly stated, “We must become the change we seek in the world.” Parents must begin to seek changes in themselves before they can influence their children to change. They must move from the backside of being an observer to the front line of becoming an investor in the lives of their children.
One of the major investments a parent can make to his or her child is through the use of right words, birthed from the right perception of the child, out of a good understanding and love, wrapped up in a sincere and pure motive, in order to enhance the value and dignity of the child to become what he or she was created to be.
Investors will use love, wisdom, and skill to make the necessary investment for the child to develop and lead a worthwhile life that is superior in quality and superabundant in quantity.
Whereas, people who are simply observers neglect to use competence, wisdom, and love to invest in the life of the child; consequently, they treat the child according to how they see them; and how they see and treat the child is what the child often becomes.
THE CLIMAX OF TEACHING
Nancy Edison, Thomas Edison’s mother tutored her son by reading to him from books and that particular habit peaked up his interest in books.
One day his mother read from a book of scientific experiments and that ignited a spark in Thomas Edison that developed a burning desire for scientific experiments.
His mother quickly recognized that spark and obtained an Old Dictionary of Science and from that moment on his scientific exploration began – he was ten years of age.
To teach implies to educate and to educate is to bring out the best from within. A teacher is a guide – he or she guides the student to unlock the power house of knowledge by himself or herself and explore the uncharted territory of the mind to maximize destiny.
The climax of teaching is to bring a student to the point where his innate ability and passion is ignited and unveiled through knowledge acquired – that is where the love of learning begins and unfolds with self-education that spans through a lifetime making for a progressive journey of success.
THE VISION OF “LIGHTING UP THE WORLD”
Thomas Edison wasn’t just trying to invent a “light bulb.” There were other inventors who had tried to invent a light bulb before Edison and they did succeed to some extent. However, Thomas Edison had a different vision…
In his words, “I saw for the first time everything in practical operation. It was all before me. I saw the thing had gone so far but that I had a chance. I saw that what had been done had never been made practically useful. The intense light had not been subdivided so that it could be brought into private houses.”
From then on, Thomas Edison worked towards bringing his vision of subdividing light by inventing a device that would create a universal demand for electric power to every household, firm, farm, factory, and office in the world. The successful invention of the electric light bulb was a means to an end of “lighting up the world.”
Therefore, Thomas Edison wasn’t the first inventor to invent the electric lighting system. But he was the first to develop a system of distributing electric power which made electricity available for ordinary home use.
Here’s the catch, when you are all out to make a contribution to life, you think beyond self-recognition to creating value for others in a way that elevates humanity significantly and you gain access to the Divine Mind for the flow of ideas and direction.
ARE YOU HANDICAPPED? BEAT IT!
Thomas Edison was impaired for most of his life; he suffered from seriously impaired hearing.
Never permit your “handicap” to cap your potentials. Become solution driven rather than problem-conscious.
Get out of your own way by plotting your path and making a way for others through the value you create in the world and through the impact you make in the lives of others.
You have one life to live and one life to give away for a great Purpose if you must be used up before you are taken up.
Therefore, live fully by giving yourself away for a Cause greater than you, through serving humanity.
THE PERSISTENCE THAT WEARS OUT RESISTANCE
It took Thomas Edison more than 11,000 experiments alone before he finally discovered the Carbon – impregnated filament that led to the production of the first electric light bulb.
Actually Edison was looking for an inexpensive light bulb filament so that his invention could be affordable and accessible to everyone –that is the heart of service that secures greatness.
After Edison had conducted more than 5,000 experiments, a young journalist came to him and asked him why he persisted in these experiments after having failed more than 5,000 times.
Edison replied, “Young man, you don’t understand how the world works. I have not failed at all. I have successfully identified 5,000 ways that will not work. That just puts me 5,000 ways closer to the way that will”.
Wow! What an insight. Failure is the outcome of the reserve of those who give up on their life’s Purpose. So long as you keep at it, you are not a failure. Persistence eventually wears out resistance if you keep at it and re-strategizing until you win at it.
A LIFE OF CONSISTENT INVENTIONS
Thomas Edison never paused to consider how wealthy he was or how accomplished he was. He never retired. He was too occupied inventing.
Thomas Edison produced his first invention, an electric vote – recorder at age 21. Though Edison was disappointed with its sales, he never permitted discouragement to set in but rather his drive for contribution to life through inventions was turned on in top gear and went on full speed throughout his lifetime.
Thomas Edison’s achievements includes: the development of motion picture cameras and projectors; he made significant improvements to the telescope, telegraph, and typewriter and invented a dictating machine, a mimeograph machine and storage battery.
To sum it up, Thomas Edison patented 1, 093 devices at the U.S Patent Office, 1,052 of his inventions were turned into commercial products during his lifetime.
He was the founder of General Electric Corporation.
He continued to work actively until his death at age eighty-four in 1931 when fully one-sixth of the America workforce was employed in the manufacture and distribution of Thomas Edison-invented products.
THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU
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About the Author
Udeme Archibong is a prolific writer, an astute communicator and a model of excellence. Her writings have made profound impact on thousands of lives around the world through her blog: successrecipeblog.com, which has followings in over 70 countries in continents of the world.
She is a Self-Development Expert, who passionately works towards helping people maximize their destinies.
At some point, she was a motivational columnist, writing Success Recipe and Destiny Catalyst, for two Nigerian national newspapers, Vanguard and ThisDay, respectively. She is the initiator of the Revolution Series Seminars