I Agree with Einstein

I was looking for as quotation online; supposedly Albert Einstein said, “The smallest scrap of paper is greater than the greatest mind.” Naturally I Googled variations on “Albert Einstein quotations.” I was going to blog about how – to a writer a blank piece of paper can be intimidating if not downright terrorizing as a deadline looms. 

I could not find that particular quote (by anyone) but instead, I found two other Einstein quotes.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

When we think of Einstein, naturally we think of “E=Mc2,” the oversized sweater, unruly hair and moustache, and of course the archetypical photograph of him sticking out his tongue.  We think of a physics and mathematical genius. 

After reading these two quotes, I am more convinced of his genius than ever.

Imagine the one finite object that you would want to own more than anything else; the pearl of great price, if you will.  Maybe it’s the handmade Italian sports car, or a yacht or a particular piece of jewelry.  Maybe it’s a Stradivarius violin, your own Superbowl ring or the pony you’ve wanted since you were six years old.  Now imagine that you are granted that item, with only one stipulation – you can never let anyone else know.  No one else can see it and you cannot mention it to anyone, ever, under any circumstances.

Not much fun, is it?

As humans the only benefit we enjoy from a thing is the ability to share it with others.  We share the thing itself. We share the knowledge of what we have without necessarily sharing the thing itself – sometimes bad (“I’ve got one and you don’t!”) sometimes wonderful (“We’ve got a new baby!”)

 “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

Einstein, genius that he was realized that true sharing is what this life is all about.  Being of value means sharing what you have to make the world just a little bit better in some way.  You don’t have to cure cancer to be of value (although if you have that ability, please continue.)  For most of us it means being the person who treats others with respect, even when you disagree with them.  The retail clerk during the Christmas rush, the ticket counter person at the airport and even the meter maid.  Oh, and that includes “Bob”, the technical support representative on the phone with the foreign accent who isn’t exactly helping you figure out what to do after your new computer died.

With Hurricane Irene now fading into memory (how soon we forget) there are thousands, if not millions who recently were of value.  They put on the Red Cross and handed out meals at a shelter or maybe just checked on a neighbor.  They helped a stranded motorist or brought their chain saw over to help get the fallen tree out of the way.  They did better than success, they provided value.

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

Those of us who are ( )Buddhists; ( )Christians; ( ) Hindus ( )Jews; ( )Muslims easily see the importance of the message, but are we any better at carrying it out?  [Don’t try to read anything in – they’re in alphabetical order.]  We should live for others and we can; we just need to choose to.

So, Professor Einstein, I may not have the math to fully appreciate your equations, but I do have the ability to fully comprehend these two postulates, and you’ll be happy to know that I find your logic sound, and concur with your conclusions. 

Now all I need to do is put the theory into practice.

 

 

 

 

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