Good morning Mr Shoeman and friends, this morning I’m going to speak to you about the history of the good old PENCIL. The Pencil was founded in … Ok wait…Whilst the history of the pencil might be an interesting topic for another day, but I believe that the pencilmaker created the pencil to be more than a piece of stationary. Please allow my indulgence as I unravel the secrets hidden in the pencil aimed at making you be the best you can be. When the pencil was made for the first time, the pencil- maker gave the pencil some pertinent and important instructions which we can apply in our own lives.
The 1st instruction to the pencil was ‘what’s truly important actually lies within u’. The pencil has 2 aspects to it. The outside which is its beautiful, colourful wooden casing and the inside which is the lead, it’s very substance, its very purpose. Similarly, in our lives we have the outside, the outside is about our personality, our looks, our presence. The inside is about being a genuine and sincere person.
The 2nd thing the pencil- maker told the pencil was that ‘unless what is within you comes out, the lead, you cannot make an impact, it is only when the lead comes out of the casing, can the pencil actually make an impact. Similarly, in our life, unless what is within us comes out, we will not be able to make an impact either on our lives or on those of others. Thus, the Latin word ‘Edu care’ from which the English word ‘education’ is derived means to bring out. To bring out the virtues, the qualities of our soul. When Thomas Edison was a little boy he came back home from school and handed a letter to his mother saying, ‘my teacher gave this letter only for you to read’ The mother opens the letter and as she read out the letter to Thomas Edison, she was crying. She said ‘Tommy your teacher has written that Thomas is such an intelligent boy, he is a genius. The school is too small for him and doesn’t have enough good teachers to train him. So, it is better that he does not come to school any longer and you train him at home’. Years letter when Thomas’s mother died, and Thomas Edison was one of the greatest inventors of the century, he was at his mother’s home clearing things up and in a little drawer, he found that letter that the teacher had given him years back to his mum. Thomas Alva Edison opened the letter to read the contents and he broke down in tears, crying profusely, because what was written on the paper was’ Madam, your son Thomas is a dunce. He is mentally ill, he does not fit into this school I do not think that he can ever make it there, so we are expelling him and throwing his out of the school today’. TAE wrote another line underneath. He wrote’ Thomas was indeed a dunce, a mentally ill child and he was made into the greatest inventor of the century by his hero, his mother.’ His mother did not have a massive personality. She didn’t have charisma, nor did she have too many valuables. But she was a genuine person with a great character, amazing values and look at the impact that it had on the life of Thomas Alva Edison.
The 3rd important instruction that the pencil maker gave the pencil was ‘UNLESS YOU GO THROUGH SHARPENING, WHAT IS WITHIN YOU WILL NOT COME OUT’. The pencil must go through painful sharpening before the sharp lead comes out and makes an impact. Similarly, in Life unless we go through painful sharpening the best things within will never come out, as they say no pain no gain.
The 4th message the pencilmaker gave the pencil was ‘WHEN YOU WRITE YOU WILL MOST CERTAINLY END UP MAKING MISTAKES’. What’s truly great is that right behind you is attached an eraser and you can actually correct that mistake and once again write the right thing. Even in our lives we make so many mistakes. And what is amazing it that God has given us the opportunity, the chance to erase them, to correct them and to rewrite our stories’
I hope these life lessons have been insightful and that each time you look at a pencil, you are reminded to always be the best you can be.