A Failed Child or a Genius Inventor of Bulb?

Rakesh Manchanda for BeyondHeadlines

Addled Brain?

Edison was a poor student. When a schoolmaster called Edison “addled,” or slow/mentally ill. his mother took him out of the school and proceeded to teach him at home.

After his mother died, Thomas came across a folded paper in her room. This letter of his schoolmaster written to her mother-“Your son is addled(mentally ill) and we won`t let him come to school.”


Thomas Edison remembered this folded paper. He recollected his last school day and back home. He was instructed on his last school day to give it only to her mother. His mother`s eyes were tearful as she pretended to read-“Your son is genius. This school is too small for him and does not have enough good teachers for training him. Please teach him yourself.”


Edison cried for hours and then jotted down on his dairy-Thomas Alva Edison was a slow (addled) child that (brought up) by a HERO mother became a genius of the century.”

At an early age, he showed a fascination for mechanical things and for chemical experiments.


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.”

In 1859, Edison was 12 yrs, when he took a job of selling newspapers and candy on the Grand Trunk Railroad to Detroit. In the baggage car, he set up a laboratory for his chemistry experiments and a printing press, where he started the “Grand Trunk Herald”, the first newspaper published on a train and later became one of the greatest inventor of this world.

Lessons : Instead of assisting the child to ask how, when, why and where ! at times we want the child to follow us. If he is not able to fall in line we call him a mad or a slow child.

For those who fail to encourage a child this simple story is a worth read.



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