Today I would like to share a short but inspirational story on parenting – the story of Thomas Edison, the scientist who is famous for inventing the Light Bulb, the Motion Picture Camera, the Record Player and many more.
When Thomas Edison was a young school boy, one day his teacher gave him a letter for his mother. Thomas had still not learnt to read and write. He came back home and gave the letter to his mother. His mother’s eyes were tearful as she read the letter out loud to her child: “Your son is a genius. This school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.” And, Thomas Edison’s mother taught him through his pre-primary, primary, middle and secondary years all by herself.
Many years after Edison’s mother died and he had become one of the greatest inventors of the century, one day, he was looking through old family things and he stumbled upon a folded paper in the corner of a drawer. He opened it. On the paper was written, “Your son is addled (mentally ill). We won’t let him come to school anymore.”
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.”
This is the power of love. All parents love their children, but let us analyse a parent’s love for the child with a little more clarity. When we pressurize a young child in his junior years in school to perform and we believe that we are doing it out of love so that he/she may achieve, so that he/she may become great, it is not love. It is the ambition of a parent in the garb of love.
Edison’s mother loved Edison immensely. She worked on educating her son with the firm conviction that he was brilliant. She worked on Thomas in a systematic manner, without pressurizing her child with names and numbers. And this gentle love of a mother created the world famous inventor and scientist- Thomas Edison.
What is it that we can do as parents to sculpt a systematic growth of our children?
To become a surgeon one has to know and understand one’s surgical equipment before learning to use them. A carpenter is first taught about his saw and hammer, nails and screws before he is taught actual carpentry.
The senses are the tools for gaining knowledge for a student.
Therefore, my dear parents! First make your child aware of his senses. And then make the senses aware of all the truth, beauty and goodness which surrounds them. Fill their surroundings with so much beauty that beauty overflows from within them.
Let their sight enjoy the beauty of a sunrise, the colours in the wings of a butterfly and flowers.
Let their hearing awaken to the sweet sound of chirping of birds, the pitter patter of rain, the purring of a kitten.
Let their sense of touch thrill by the touch of the drops of rain, the softness of their grandma’s hands, the coarseness of their helper’s hands which have become coarse in the course of serving the child.
Let their sense of smell recognize the smell of rain in the mud, the smell of mummy’s cooking, the smell of papa’s cologne.
Develop their taste buds so they understand the subtle difference between sweet, extra sweet, sour, bitter etc.
Make them aware of the different emotions they experience – happiness, sadness, anger, love, compassion, jealousy, the strange mood of throwing tantrums, moods when they just want to act like a clown and make everybody laugh etc etc. Make them aware of their deepest emotions so when they experience them in their beings, they do not let the emotion flow through an unaware person. This exercise when done with care and love in the childhood will turn them into self controlled adults, which is a great tool for learning.
All this we can do for our children, my dear parents, when we substitute our ambition for our children with genuine and true love for them.
Love is perhaps one of the strongest forces in the world. Albert Einstein, the world famous scientist, the Noble laureate, famous for his discovery E = MC¬2 wrote in one of his letters to his daughter, Lieserl, and I quote:
” There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that governs all others and has not yet been identified by us.
This universal force is LOVE.
Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it.
Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others.
Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have.
Love is God and God is Love.
Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.
However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.”
Each day lets make efforts to find that dynamo of love in our hearts, concentrate on it and release waves of that love from within us – with this love let us heal all plants, animals and human beings on this planet and thereby Mother Earth Herself.
Seth M.R Jaipuria School