I’m reminded of inventor Thomas Edison’s words:
Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.*
For some time, educators have discussed how students need to develop “grit,” that quality of tenacity, stick-to-it-tive-ness, and “perspiration.” The term has a particular edge to it that means to encourage students to work through difficulties–say, in following through with a big project, or puzzling out a complex math problem.
Grit is good. But what about inspiration? I think there’s more to inspiration than one percent.
When you surround your family with music, art, books, travel, being outdoors, and opportunities to play, you help inspire children. For example, if you watch and listen when children play dress up or Legos, you might hear bits of stories and experiences woven in to their play. Those bits are inspiration that feed your child’s creative imagination.
Some children become so inspired to continue this kind of play that they stick to it until they feel finished. That’s grit or perspiration. And it always begins with inspiration.
Bartlett, J. (1968). Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. 14th Edition. Boston: Little, Brown.