Who Answered the Call?
He had lived his life as a problem solver, a man who could identify the challenge and with clarity, determine what was missing in the equation that prevented a free flow of energy to complete an idea.
He was a humble man at heart; many were surprised by this.
He was known far and wide for small and great ideas that had advanced others dreams.
He had settled on this winter home in south west Florida years ago with his wife Mina.
Where others saw beauty and came to retire, he saw a vast land of opportunity.
Everywhere he looked he noticed some material native to this new home that could be used for a far greater purpose! He lived his life in that state of mind.
He just saw different things than others around him.
He was by nature an eccentric man.
His appearance was a little disheveled; his hair had grown wiry in his advancing age and had taken to standing out in the places where it had thinned.
On most days, a pair of wire rimmed glasses could be found perched on the end of his nose as he made his way around the laboratory he had created on the grounds of his home.
He paid little attention to what he considered silly details.
This man had produced many great things in his lab; when he was enmeshed in a new project he even slept there in order to jump up and try some new idea that had come into his mind while sleeping.
His wife was a trusted companion and the one he customarily bounced ideas for new inventions off.
Her own father had been an inventor and she had an innate understanding of how his mind worked.
She was known to spend hours in the lab with him, simply listening and offering her own thoughts to help him 'test' his theories.
As the years passed she had become his best friend, and a wonderful listener.
He cherished her and loved sharing his ideas with her.
Over the last few years' things had begun to change.
Mina had seemed distant and uninterested in his new ideas.
She joined him in the lab less and less, a source of great sadness for him.
It was not long before he realized the cause.
Mina's hearing was slowly but surely diminishing.
He had begun to notice it at the dinner table where she became more and more withdrawn.
It was the early 1900's and there was no known treatment for this.
Other men may have swallowed the bitter pill and went on with life.
But this man was determined to bring his best friend back to him so they could continue to share their life as they had grown accustomed to doing.
He had made good and bad choices and had enjoyed great successes and his share of disappointments in life.
But mostly, he was a problem solver and now he faced the most serious problem to his own peace of mind in his life.
Thus begun an eighteen month journey to find a way to bring Mina's hearing back.
He worked diligently; this man was far more accustomed to success than failure.
He could see opportunity in what others may perceive a failure.
Even if the new idea did not develop as he had originally intended he developed it into something useable.
But not this time; no matter the number of hours or methods or energy expended, all of his efforts had come to naught.
It was a rare time in his life when he felt defeated.
He had enjoyed so many successes to bring other peoples hopes and dreams to fruition; he could not understand why the most important effort in his life was deprived of him and was becoming a complete failure.
So much time had been expended on this new project that he had begun to bring others in to train them in his lab; he delegated the task of completing other projects to them in order for him to devote his energy to this cause.
He was battling time; it seemed almost daily Mina heard less and less of the outdoor world.
He was exasperated, and nearly heartbroken.
He couldn't do it! Success was to be denied him, this most important pursuit of all! He threw the project aside in disgust and gave up; a rarity for this man.
The apprentice who had been working with him daily was not so concerned with Mina.
He had grown more and more excited about what he saw as a tremendous possibility with this invention.
The old man did not even hear his excited ramblings; he was fixated only on creating a way for Mina to hear him again! The apprentice asked if he could try to create something from what had been discarded.
"Go ahead", the old man muttered and walked away.
Thomas Alva Edison believed this latest invention he had dedicated so much time to have ended as the greatest failure in his life.
Alexander Graham Bell saw things differently.
You probably know most of the rest of this story.
Bell patented the idea and because of Thomas Edison's colossal failure, an entire planet could communicate, they could all hear one another! Not long after that, Thomas Edison learned that he had stopped 1/1000 of an inch from the hearing aid he was attempting to create.
Much later, as Alexander Graham Bell was moving the prototype aside, a tiny wire loosened and fell into the one beside it.
The invention of the hearing aid was complete.
The distance to victory had been only 1/1000 of an inch.
This is history but it is also a good lesson in a grander picture.
Because his emotions were so involved, Thomas Edison did not exercise his usual method of looking to see how a 'failed' project could be useful.
His focus had narrowed on this project because of his beloved Mina.
He identified this as his greatest failure because his goal was personal and fixated on a single outcome; but there was a grand plan afoot that would benefit all of mankind.
And then there was that day when the wires moved ever so slightly and the 1/1000 of an inch connected, enabling him to achieve his own personal goal.
I feel certain this man walked closely and was great friends with the Angel of Invention.
I like to imagine that she was encouraging him on a mission far bigger than he knew and once it was accomplished, his own dream 'accidentally' was realized.
Become a vessel with open windows and allow the fresh ideas and the light of new thoughts and dreams to expand your inner vision!