Sep 20, 2014

saturday med.itation: And a Large Wastebasket

Imagine a world where there were no erasers, no delete keys, undo commands. What’s that world like? I would that kind of world if that were heaven but if that were still earth, I would dread it.

Dorie McCollough Lawson in her book Posterity tells a short incident when Albert Einstein first arrived at Princeton University in 1933. As a new professor, he was asked what he needed. What would a professor, much less one of the brightest minds of all time, need?

“A desk or table, a chair, paper, and pencils. Oh yes, and a large wastebasket...” he replied.

Einstein needing a wastebasket, and a large one? How about you? Do you need a wastebasket? If you do, how big is it? What does this tell us? This simply tells us that we are humans and nature requires us some wastebaskets and real big ones. This tells us that it is okay to make mistakes, that in this life mistakes are part of growing up, and that it is very seldom that we make it right the first time.

You must have read that Abraham Lincoln had lost every election before he was elected president of the United States, that it took Thomas Edison ten thousand times before he came up with the incandescent light. You must have known Michael Jordan, that guy who basketballed his way into many hearts. What did he say? “I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

But even if you have failed over and over, I still would like to tell you that nothing is wasted as long as you learn from your failures.

Is your wastebasket almost full? Go, get a larger one.

source: Encounters

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