“When a man dies, if he can pass enthusiasm along to his children, he has left them an estate of incalculable value.”  - Thomas Edison

Most if not all of us have read about and learned about Thomas Edison and his invention of the electric bulb and phonograph. Did you know that he had 1093 patents for things he invented? His enthusiasm for the invention process was what drove him. It wasn’t what he was inventing; it was the enthusiasm that he brought to the journey of discovery.

Thomas Edison was a man who never allowed defeat to cloud his enthusiasm. If anything, it drove him to even greater enthusiasm to figure out what went wrong, correct it and see if he could get better results. How many of us bring that kind of joy and enthusiasm to what we do in any parts of our lives? Edison was a person who never saw defeat as a personal affront, but rather as an opportunity to further explore whatever it was that was baffling him.

As a Rabbi and Spiritual Counselor in Recovery from Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, I do not see relapse as defeat and failure. I see it as exactly what addicts do. We drink and/or drug when life gets challenging or we are just not ready to stop so we use. This is not failure or defeat! 

This is an opportunity to look at what we either did or didn’t do and start anew with a desire to stop one day at a time. My work uses affirmations to instill a positive passionate feeling about ourselves so the next time we are faced with a life challenge, we will have a better feeling about ourselves and a wide array of choices to help us not pick up and come through the episode wit our sobriety intact.

Do we, as parents, teachers, leaders and role models, demonstrate enthusiasm to those we engage? Do we infuse them with a passion for discovery or do we pass on to them our fears and worries? There is no sum of money that I can leave to my son that will have more power than giving him a passion, enthusiasm and zest for living, for with that will come internal and external wealth as there will be nothing he will be afraid to do.

My prayer for you today is that you unleash your enthusiasm and transmit it to those you love, knowing that you are giving them the greatest gift you have – a love of life!!


Hugs and Blessings,
Rabbi Mitch

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