It’s all about perception – I love this story that my dad shared with me about the great inventor – Thomas Edison.
It was a crisp winters afternoon when Thomas Edison arrived home from school. In his hand he clenched a folded-up piece of paper. Excited he handed it to his mom as he could not yet read. “What is it Mommy, what does it say?”
His mom carefully unfolded the piece of paper and as she read, the tears streamed down her face.
“What is it Mommy, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong, my son, I’m just so very proud of you. You see the school headmaster has written me this letter. It says ‘Thomas Edison is a genius, this school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself’”, she replied.
“ What does a genius mean Mommy?”, young Thomas asked.
“Well, a genius means that you are a very clever boy and none of your friends are even nearly as clever as you are.”
“Oh I see”, replied Thomas.
As we all know, Tomas Edison was one of the most famous inventors of all time. He invented things like the light bulb, motion pictures, Nickel-iron batteries and many more.
Many years after Thomas’s mother had passed away, he was cleaning out the attic one day when he came across the crumpled up piece of paper that his mom had read to him all those years ago. He picked it up and this time as he read it, the tears came pouring down his face. It read, “Your son is addled (mentally ill). We won’t let him come to school any more”.
Edison cried for hours and then he wrote in his diary: “Thomas Alva Edison was an addled child that, by a hero mother, became the genius of the century.”
You see, children will act not in accordance with reality, but rather in accordance to their perception of reality. All Thomas needed was someone to tell him that he was a genius and then to continue treating him as if he was a genius and he soon became one.