Did you know that Albert Einstein could not speak until he was four years old and did not read until he was seven? His parents and teachers worried about his mental ability.
Beethoven’s music teacher said about him, “As a composer he is hopeless.” What if young Ludwig believed it?
When Thomas Edison was a young boy, his teachers said he was so stupid he could never learn anything. He once said, “I remember I used to never be able to get along at school. I was always at the bottom of my class…my father thought I was stupid, and I almost decided that I was.” What if young Thomas believed what they said about him?
When F. W. Woolworth was 21, he got a job in a store, but was not allowed to wait on customers because he “didn’t have enough sense.”
When the sculptor Auguste Rodin was young he had difficulty learning to read and write. Today, we may say he had a learning disability, but his father said of him, “I have an idiot for a son.”
His uncle agreed. “He’s uneducable,” he said. What if Rodin had doubted his ability?
A newspaper editor once fired Walt Disney because he was thought to have no “good ideas.”
Caruso was told by one music teacher, “You can’t sing. You have no voice at all.”
And an editor told Louisa May Alcott that she was incapable of writing anything that would have popular appeal.
What if these people had listened and become discouraged? Where would our world be without the music of Beethoven, the art of Rodin or the ideas of Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison?
As Oscar Levant has accurately said, “It’s not what you are, it’s what you don’t become that hurts.”