Day 20: From “Slow Learner” to World Changer. A Peek at Thomas Edison.

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Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Thomas Edison? That’s what I thought. All of us. But Edison may have died in obscurity save for a loving mother who had more common sense and insight than the professional educators who labeled him as “addled.” A poor student, Edison’s teachers accused him of being too slow and too curious. Apparently he asked a lot of questions.

So at the age of 12, Edison’s mother had the good sense to remove him from school and teach him at home. The rest is history. Literally. Edison’s insatiable curiosity for the world of how things work led him to secure 1,093 patents, including the automatic telegraph and the first commercially viable electric lightbulb.

Edison’s inventions changed the world.

Young_Thomas_Edison

Of his mother, Edison said many years later,

My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt I had some one to live for, some one I must not disappoint.

Clearly, Mrs. Edison was a mother who thought outside the box, who challenged convention because it was failing her own child in a big way. I like to think that young Thomas inherited her sense of questioning the status quo and pursuing new and better ways.

From Edison and his mother, we’re inspired to embrace the potential of a child’s curiosity and to never underestimate the privilege and responsibility we’ve been given to help make our children who they will one day be. This is both terrifying and empowering isn’t it? But throughout the ages, God has given mothers and fathers wisdom to see in our children what others may overlook.

Sometimes this requires teaching our unconventional child at home or finding a school that has a place for the unique way his mind works.

Sometimes this means community action that bears fruit for all the children, not just our own.

Always it means this — we need to slow down long enough to pay attention, to notice the becoming, and to ask what we can do to open wide the door of possibility for children.

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Do you know a person of influence with a unique educational background?

For all the posts in this 31-day series, go here.

I’m linking up with The Nester and her tribe of 31 Dayers.

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Day 19: Learning to Take a One-Day Rest from Worry

31 days final big button

You may not have noticed but my Sunday posts offer a message of rest. Practicing rest {and I’m still very much learning} has been a life-changing discipline for me, one I wish I’d learned much earlier in life.

Sundays are a day of rest and worship for our family. It’s also a day of departure from the work and rhythms of the other six days. I’m figuring out, ever so slowly, what that looks like for me. But part of it is this: I practice not worrying about the things that concern me the other six days. That makes it sound easy, like I just flip a switch. It’s really not that simple but it is becoming more of a habit over time as my body, mind, and spirit slip into a quiet, unhurried, “it’ll be there tomorrow” sort of place.

beach sky

If you’re reading this series with me, perhaps school is one of those things that concerns you too much of the time. Maybe you’re in a place of insecurity or indecision. I get it.

Today, as I’ve done the other two Sundays in this series, I invite you to rest from those concerns. The issues will be there tomorrow but by taking a break today, you’ll be better equipped to greet them on Monday.

If you need some restful encouragement, here are the other Sunday posts from the series.

A Call to Rest

How to Rest Right Where You Are

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For all the posts in this 31-day series, go here.

I’m linking up with The Nester and her tribe of 31 Dayers.

Don’t want to miss a post in the series? You can subscribe and have each post delivered right to your inbox. As always, you may unsubscribe any time you like. {I promise not to sell your address to pirates, aliens, spammers, or The Gap.}

Day 18: A Few Wise Words from Maya Angelou’s Mother

maya angelou quote 500

Ignorance can be more than simple unawareness. Tossed out into the world, it can explode like a grenade but with much more damage. And Illiteracy doesn’t simply apply to unintelligible words on a page. It speaks to specific inability or lack, often due to circumstances beyond one’s control.

How quick we can be to judge both, and to deny their presence in our own lives.

In light of Ms. Angelou’s mother’s insightful words, might I offer a few companion words of hope for us all?

When we encounter ignorance — others’ our our own — may truth show up with grace and love.

May our privilege not corrupt our compassion.

And may we learn from the intelligent others who are a rare gift to us all, even if the educated world pays them no heed.

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I hope you enjoy the loveliest of fall weekends.

Here are the posts from this week.

 

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For all the posts in this 31-day series, go here.

I’m linking up with The Nester and her tribe of 31 Dayers.

Don’t want to miss a post in the series? You can subscribe and have each post delivered right to your inbox. As always, you may unsubscribe any time you like. {I promise not to sell your address to pirates, aliens, spammers, or The Gap.}