Day 58 – Love Affair

February 5, 2015

 (This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

A promotional IBM plaque from my grandfather's house.
THINK. It’s a good motto that was coined in 1911 by Thomas J. Watson who was in charge of sales and advertising at the National Cash Register Company. “We don’t get paid for working with our feet—we get paid for working with our heads.” “THINK”, he wrote on an easel at a meeting.* This motto followed Watson to IBM which has trademarked it and uses the word in exhibits and in its products such as the ThinkPads.  

When I first saw an IBM THINK plaque as a child in my grandfather’s house, I knew nothing about IBM but I did grow up knowing the importance of education, encouraged by my parents. My sisters and I did well in school and much of our free time was filled with reading, imaginative play and creating. My curiosity and love of learning eventually led to a Doctor of Communications Design at the University of Baltimore and this love affair continues as I learn something new every day.  

As a former teacher who tried to teach my students to think, I am aware that “thinking” isn’t the private domain of school. Socrates said, “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” Sadly today, sometimes thinking takes a back seat in the classroom as more and more time is devoted to testing and teaching to the tests.

More than a hundred years ago, Sarah Goode is an example of someone who was a great thinker in spite of a background of very little education. She was born in 1850 and spent much of her life as a slave, yet she patented a “cabinet bed”, a precursor to the sofa bed. She was the first woman to have a patent.

At seventy, I continue to think, learn, make connections and create because I must. It is part of what makes each day exciting. People who understand this “must,” also know the “joy of think."

My gift today and every day is the love of learning and thinking.

* Belden, Thomas; Belden, Marva (1962). The Lengthening Shadow: The Life of Thomas J. Watson. Little, Brown and Company. pp. 157–8.

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  1. It's very cool to have one of your former teacher write this. You realize what good hands helped to "form" you. And I am thankful. And I will be THINKING of you, Bonnie!

    1. Darlene, it was always good to have students like you who loved to think.


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