- Go and enjoy. The sooner you lose everything we own, the sooner it will be better. –
Nikola Tesla, one of the world's greatest inventors, never finished college. He was born in Lika, and attended high school, first in Gospić and then in Rakovac. As a nineteen-year-old, he enrolled at the Technical College in Graz. The first year he received a scholarship from the Military Krajina, but the following year the scholarship was absent, since the Krajina was developed. In the following years, he asked for a scholarship from Matica Srpska in Novi Sad, but it was not granted to him. It is known that he went to Prague in 1875 with the desire to continue his studies. However, there is no information that he completed any studies.
Living in Prague, depressed due to lack of money and without hope of finding a job, he runs into an even bigger problem. Namely, at that time, Nikola started going to Prague cafes and casinos. Sitting down and playing cards was the essence of pleasure for him. So, already poor, he began to lose the remaining money.
Eventually, due to gambling debts, he was expelled from Prague. He came home with empty pockets. His parents found out about his gambling problems and became very worried. Father Milutin led an exemplary life and could not justify the senseless waste of time and money that his son engaged in. But Nikola was persistent in his addiction. He denied it. He would say: – I can quit whenever I want, but is it worth giving up the only thing I enjoy? - Father, an Orthodox priest, would be enraged by such a desire for earthly pleasures. He would force Nikola to listen to long monologues about sin and punishment. Nikola would only get angry at that and the discussion was over.
But Tesla's mother Đuka had a different approach. She understood the character of man and knew that man's salvation can only be achieved through his own efforts. One afternoon, Nikola was sitting at home longing to play. Just before that he lost all his money. But the desire was incredibly strong. His mother saw her in his eyes.
She approached him with a roll of bills. She handed them to him and said: - Go and enjoy. The sooner you lose everything we own, the sooner it will be better. I know you'll get over it. – Tesla's mother was right. His mother's words reminded him of a book he had read in his childhood. It was the novel Abafi by the Hungarian writer Josika. The work was about self-control. It taught how to preserve willpower and not fall into the scourge of bad habits. Tesla decided to apply the advice from that work. He later revealed that these tips were the theses he lived by. They read - decide to refrain from evil and do good, foresee the consequences of your actions, when you do something that is difficult for you, keep in mind those who say that you are not capable of doing it and lastly - what are the more terrible consequences that you suffer for doing something bad act, the more likely you are not to repeat that act.
Tesla never gambled again. In his lifetime, he created hundreds of inventions, and he gave the world one of the most important - alternating current. His mother's words helped Nikola, but also enabled the progress of the whole world.