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A Life Lesson From Einstein

AUTHOR: Marilyn Atkinson
DATE: 28 August 2012
Did you hear about this life lesson from Einstein? It is one of the simplest and yet profound life lessons that will determine the rest of your life!

Awareness and Curiosity

A reporter from a scientific journal called and requested an interview with Einstein for a special article in their publication on the “Great Questions of Great Scientists.”

Einstein agreed and the reporter arrived at Einstein’s home in the last moments of daylight. He found Einstein seated in a rocking chair on his porch puffing on a well-worn pipe and watching the red sunset.  

“I have only one question to ask you, Dr. Einstein,” said the reporter, a bright and nervous young man with a notebook, “This is the key question we are asking every scientist we can find. The question is: ‘What is the most important question that a scientist can ask?’”

Can you see Einstein on the porch in his rocking chair with his eyes twinkling?

The elderly Einstein stretched back and thought for ten minutes: “That is a great question young man and it deserves a serious answer,” he said.

With that, he commenced rocking slowly on his chair and puff on his aged pipe. He remained silent, deep in thought for another few minutes, while the reporter waited expectantly for some significant mathematical formula or quantum hypothesis. The question that the reporter received instead has had the world thinking carefully ever since: “Young man,” Einstein said gravely, “the most important question that any person can ask is whether or not the universe is a friendly place?”  

“What do you mean?” answered the reporter, “How can that be the most important question?”  

Einstein responded solemnly “The answer we find determines what we do with our lives. If the universe is a friendly place, we will spend our time building bridges. Otherwise, people use all their time to build walls. We decide.”

What a life lesson, indeed!