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To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison, quite possibly, was the most prolific American inventor of all time, having invented many things including the phonograph, motion picture camera and the long-lasting electric light bulb. I’m guessing he may have been a bit of a collector too, perhaps even an hoarder.

I stand in awe of his powerful imagination, yet I am also curious about his pile of junk. Junk, by definition is discarded material, items that have worn out, don’t work anymore or are broken.

We need to be imaginative and creative in life, not only to invent, but to solve problems, manage projects and live and work together as families, teams and community. And if imagination is necessary, might we not also have a need for junk, i.e., those broken ideas or materials that did not necessarily work for their original purpose, but with some imaginative creativity could be the answer to some other question?


Did you know that before Listerine was used to combat bad breath, it was created as a surgical antiseptic, a cure for gonorrhea, sweaty feet and a treatment for dandruff?