Time Economy’s Inspirational series for kids (4-9 years old and dreamers and doers of all ages).
He was born in Africa. The very south of Africa, in a very special country called “South Africa.” A country located at the very tip of the African continent.
He enjoyed no easy childhood as sometimes his classmates and schoolmates misbehaved. It was also said that he had a tough father who was many times cruel to him. Luckily, he had a loving mother, a close sister, and a dear, close brother. A brother that was a true partner to many of the important things we all need in life – from a soul mate to talk to, to a partner to dream and play with.
Many interesting things can be told about each and every one of us, and the same is true for Elon. But the most interesting thing about Elon is that he had a dream. In fact, he had more than one dream.
But we will stick to one dream at a time. Of all Elon’s dreams, one seemed so simple. The dream of creating an electric car. Many of you already have such a car. Perhaps you keep it in a small drawer or a box. If you have other toys you like better, maybe you saw one at a friend’s house or at the store. Elon just wanted to keep it as nice as your car but make one that was slightly bigger so real people could fit in.
To do that, Elon had to collaborate with others. Luckily he already knew how to do that. That was what he was doing throughout his whole life with his brother. But many said a full-size electric car is something that cannot be done. They said that an electric car is only good as a kid’s toy. They said that at the most, an electric car can be a small zoo service vehicle, but not much more than that. Many believed that Elon simply did not grow up completely. That he remained a child that forgot to stop dreaming. They said that the batteries will be too big, too expensive, too something.
But Elon tried anyway. It was not easy. He realized that the batteries are very expensive, so he made an expensive car – a roadster so exciting that people were happy to pay for it. He found out that the batteries are quite heavy, so he placed them at the bottom of the car and kept the rest of the car light and small. And then he found out that the batteries explode, so he worked hard to stabilize them and made them safer, just like another gentleman in our series of stories, a gentleman named Alfred Nobel, who made explosives safer.
In the end, he made it. The world’s fastest, biggest electric car. Big enough for you to sit in and drive with your mother or father. But they still were unsatisfied. They said it was too small, too expensive, and that Elon did not make enough of the cars. They said, “He can’t!”
What would you do if they told you that? What would you think, and how would you feel?
Elon must have felt bad. He surely felt rage for those who said he couldn’t make a better, bigger, more affordable car and those thoughts and feelings were important. But what was more important was what he chose to do. Elon and his new friends that worked with him on the electric car just built a bigger, faster, safer, more affordable car. Now the doubters had to admit it was a wonderful car, but many still said it was too expensive, and that he had made too few cars, and had no money to make any more.
What would you say to them? What would your friends say? And perhaps more importantly, what would you say to yourself and what would you do?
The team and Elon simply made another car. A cheaper one, and guess what? They made many of them! You are smart, you probably know that the team and Elon made it big time. You probably figured out that brotherhood, good friends, hard work, persistence, and the right attitude are more than enough to make any dream come true. But some people did not think like you. They said that cars come in many sizes and shapes and that the team and Elon just made a few. They did not have a truck or an SUV and it was still not enough. So the team and Elon made a few more models.
And what do they say now? They say that the car can be a little bit cheaper. So guess which car Elon and the team are about to build now? The team and Elon are working on a cheaper car, a car that many more people will be able to afford. A car that perhaps one day every child like you will be able to drive. But here is the funny thing, can you try guessing what some people may say when the car is ready and done?
It is a hard guess, but they will most probably say that it is a pity it cannot drive by itself. But do you think it will really not be able to drive by itself? Many think it will! It may be that if you listen to this story now as a child, you will not need to wait as much as you think you will to drive this car yourself. Perhaps no one will. Perhaps it will drive by itself!
And if you happen to be in a car such as this in the future, or if all the cars in the world happen to drive by themselves and they will still tell you something cannot be done, what will you do?
If you don’t know, that is fine, you will have plenty of time to decide. Just remember that you do not have to stop dreaming when you grow up and you will need no fairy or magician to make your dreams a reality. You can do it together with anyone in the world who will believe in your dream as much as you do.
You can even give your dream a name. Elon and his friends gave their dream of building an electric car a name too. They called it Tesla as a tribute to Nikola Tesla, a smart scientist who discovered a type of electricity that Tomas Edison himself believed was impossible to use as it was just too risky! Believe it or not, that’s the type of electricity we are all using today.
And if that is possible, maybe everything is possible. I am not sure. But I am sure you will know one day when you will grow up.
Perhaps you know it already.
 Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future / Ashlee Vance (https://www.amazon.com/Elon-Musk-SpaceX-Fantastic-Future/dp/006230125X).
The writer holds shares of Tesla.
Click to order: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
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20 min of quality family time during the read and hopefully some extra time discussing the story insights as time goes by. But the real benefit would be a long-lasting impact on life.
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