There was once a boy whose mind would freely wander and who had difficulty concentrating when in school. As a result, after just three months of formal education, he was labeled a problem child and was pulled out by his mother who thought otherwise.
He became homeschooled. Along the way he discovered his passion for science, conducted experiments, and started creating various inventions. That boy went on to own over a thousand patents and brought to the world, among other things, the phonograph, the light bulb, the motion picture camera, the typewriter, and central power stations that could provide electricity to multiple users. The latter became the foundation for his company, now known as General Electric. When Life magazine ranked the one hundred most influential people of the last millennium, he was chosen as the single most important person in the entire world over the past one thousand years and given the label Man of the Millennium. That boy was Thomas Edison.
On one occasion, he was asked by a reporter, “Mr. Edison, you being the greatest inventor in the world, what do you consider the greatest invention?” Edison replied without hesitation: “The mind of a child.”
How many times have you heard adults say, or said yourself, such things as, “I wish I was a child again,” or “Deep down, I am still just a child.” What is the meaning of such declarations? They are expressing not just a longing but also an acceptance of the notion that being childlike is unseemly for grown-ups, that we are either one or the other but not both. Are they not? In contrast, my contention is that there ought to be no artificial repression but rather a full embrace and liberation of our youthful spirit, which Thomas Edison labeled as the greatest invention of all.
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