Albert Einstein is considered one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. However, he didn’t only develop the theory of relativity, but he also was a promoter of the philosophy of science. Activating at the border between science and philosophy, Einstein decided that his advice would value more than a tip he didn’t have for his waiter. He was right again. His reflective notes are now worth $1.8 million.
Einstein Paid the Messenger in Two Reflective Notes
In November 1922, Einstein engaged in one of his travels from Europe to Japan. A Japanese publisher offered him 2,000 pounds in exchange for his willingness to give some lectures. This particular journey found a place in Walter Isaacson’s biography, ‘Einstein: His Life and the Universe.’
At the time of this travel, Einstein aged 43 found out that he had just been offered the most honorable prize in his field, the Nobel Prize in physics. The award acknowledged the great contributions he added to theoretical physics.
By the time he reached the Eastern lands of Japan, everybody knew about the news. Thousands of people surrounded the Nobel-awarded scientist to catch a glimpse of him. Even though he was moved by such a welcoming public, Einstein chose to find solitude in his chamber at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
Once he remained alone in the comfort of his hotel room, Einstein started to gather his thoughts in writing. However, a messenger interrupted this routine with delivery.
At this point, the story has two version. The worker either refused to accept a tip in alignment with local culture or Einstein had no spare change at hand. The scientist handed two notes instead.
Einstein’s Advice Describes the Happy Life and the Power of Will
Einstein signed the notes that he wrote in German using the hotel’s stationery. Both of them consist of short reflections on the quality of life.
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
“When there’s a will, there’s a way.”
On Tuesday, a Jerusalem auction house gave both these reflective notes to sale. Einstein’s thoughts on how to lead a happy life had an estimated value of between $5,000 and $8,000.
Eventually, the note entered the ownership of an unidentified buyer for a total of $156 million. The second one that praises humans’ will was sold for $240,000.
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