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Character First
Character First
Diligence comes from the Latin word "diligere," meaning to value highly, then changing to attentiveness, carefulness, steady effort. In other words, diligence is a constant effort to do one’s best with careful attention to detail.

A diligent person takes response- bility to finish a task, giving it his best. He is careful not to let distractions or daydreaming keep him from finishing the instructions given to him; he is able to keep his focus until the job is complete.

Even though a diligent person keeps his eye on the end of the project, he doesn’t take shortcuts and does his best with every detail. While he is able to remember other things that are important and give necessary time to them, he remembers to work hard to finish the main task assigned to him.

Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents for his inventions at the end of his life! But he began early thinking about inventions. As a boy he built a telegraph line between his house and a friend’s house and began teaching himself about telegraphy. When he began to work as a newsboy on a local train, he saved the life of the telegraph operator’s son from an oncoming railroad car. The operator then offered to teach Edison about telegraphy, and he soon got his first job as a telegraph operator in Port Huron, Michigan.
Concept by Character First
After continuing his education through study and experimentation, Edison got a job at the main Western Union office in Boston, which provided him with the connections needed to promote his inventions.

Although the electric light had already been invented, it hadn’t been developed to be used widely. In 1878 Edison put together a team of researchers to try to come up with a system that could replace the gas lights currently used everywhere. He oversaw the workmen and spent time thinking, drawing, and designing, He had to choose the materials inside the light bulb carefully, finally deciding on a carbon from bamboo for the filament. Then he had to create a vacuum inside the bulb so that the carbon would not burn. Finally he had to generate electricity and place the wires to deliver it. At last, it was ready and the Pearl Street power station began providing electric lighting for customers in lower Manhattan.

Thomas Edison also developed a phonograph that worked better than those of any of his competitors. However, as his phonograph business lost sales, he had to learn to listen to the needs of those around him in order to meet the consumer demand for radio-phonograph sets. In his family life, he also showed that he was able to check his priorities to have more balance in his life. He was truly a man of great diligence!

"If you get up at seven o’clock and go to bed at eleven, you have put in 16 good hours, and it is certain with most men that they have been doing something all the time. They have been either walking, or reading, or writing, or thinking. The only trouble is that they do it about a great many things and I do it about one."