The only exception has been the Swiss man, [Carl] Seelig; he is very nice and did a good job. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler, in the hope of finding that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances. To the editor, The Reporter 11, no. See Rowe and Schulmann, Einstein on Politics, — Said in response to the McCarthy-era witch hunt of intellectuals.
At other times, Einstein allegedly also claimed that he would choose to be a musician, and suggested the job of lighthouse keeper to young scientists in a speech in the Royal Albert Hall in London in Nathan and Norden, Einstein on Peace, To Max Born, January 17, See Born, Born-Einstein Letters, Einstein Archives Only in mathematics and physics was I, through self-study, far beyond the school curriculum, and On Einstein Himself 25 also with regard to philosophy as it was taught in the school curriculum. To Henry Kollin, February Einstein Archives The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working.
As recalled by Ernst Straus. Quoted in Seelig, Helle Zeit, dunkle Zeit, 72 The ordinary adult never gives a thought to spacetime problems. I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I did not begin to wonder about space and time until I was an adult. I then delved more deeply into the problem than any other adult or child would have done. Quoted in Seelig, Albert Einstein und die Schweiz, 73 When I was young, all I wanted and expected from life was to sit quietly in some corner doing my work 26 The Quotations without the public paying attention to me.
And now see what has become of me. Quoted in Hoffmann, Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel, 4 When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing absolute knowledge. Quoted in Ryan, Einstein and the Humanities, I have never obtained any ethical values from my scientific work. As recalled by Manfred Clynes.
Quoted in Michelmore, Einstein: Profile of the Man, Many things which go under my name are badly translated from the German or are invented by other people. Look at my face. Said to photographer Alan Richards sometime during the last ten years of his life. To an eighteen-month-old baby boy who screamed upon being introduced to Einstein. Quoted in ibid. I have finished my task here. Said as he was dying. Mileva herself was often depressed and her sister, Zorka, was schizophrenic. Still, she was a warm and caring woman and highly intelligent, and had much to cope with throughout life.
The many letters he wrote to them, especially to Hans Albert, show that he tried to remain close to them during their childhood and that he regarded them warmly and with care and concern. He also eventually conceded that Mileva was a good mother. See letters to his biographer Carl Seelig, March 26 and May 5, ; Einstein Archives and Mama threw herself on the bed, buried her head in the pillow, and wept like a child. To Mileva, July 29, , after telling his mother that he and Mileva planned to marry; they did not marry until January 6, I find it hard to believe that we will be separated for so much longer—only now do I see how much in love with you I am!
Pamper yourself, so you will become a radiant little sweetheart and as wild as a street urchin! To Mileva, August 1, To Mileva, August 6, Without you I have no self-confidence, no passion for work, and no enjoyment of life—in short, without you, my life is a void. To Mileva, ca. August 14, They cry for me almost as if I had already died. Again and again they complain that I brought misfortune on myself by my devotion to you. To Mileva, August—September But having you makes me proud, and the thought of you makes me happy. I will be doubly happy when I can press you to my heart once again and see those loving eyes shine for me alone, and when I can kiss that sweet mouth that trembles for me only.
You must continue with your research— how proud I will be to have a little Ph. To Mileva, September 13, Or do you have something else in mind? To Mileva, September 19, To Mileva, October 3, To Mileva, March 27, This sentence has led some to believe that Mileva was equally responsible for the theory of relativity. And I love you so much again!
It was only because of nervousness that I was so mean to you. To Mileva, April 30, To Mileva, May 9, But you and I can be very happy with each other without her having to be hurt. To Elsa, October 16, I have my own bedroom and avoid being with her. To Elsa, before December 2, To Elsa, after December 2, My mother is goodnatured, but she is a really fiendish mother-in-law.
When she stays with us, the air is full of dynamite. But both are to be blamed for their miserable relationship. No wonder that my scientific life thrives under these circumstances: it lifts me impersonally from the vale of tears into a more peaceful atmosphere. To Elsa, after December 21, To Heinrich Zangger, June 27, B You will relinquish all personal relations with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reasons. Particularly, you will forgo my 1 staying at home with you; 2 going out or traveling with you. C You will obey the following points in your relations with me: 1 you will not expect any tenderness from me, nor will you offer any suggestions to me; 2 you will stop talking to me about something if I request it; 3 you will leave my bedroom or study without any backtalk if I request it.
D You will undertake not to belittle me in front of our children, either through words or behavior. Memorandum to Mileva, ca. July 18, , listing the conditions under which he would agree to continue to live with her in Berlin. At first she accepted the conditions, but then left Berlin with the children at the end of July. After everything that has happened, a friendly relationship with you is out of the question.
We shall have a considerate and businesslike relationship. All personal things must be kept to a minimum. In return, I assure you of proper comportment on my part, such as I would exercise toward any unrelated woman. July 18, , on his offer to continue their marriage after his move to Berlin, to which in the end she did not agree. To Elsa, July 26, This is justified because it is not right to have the children see their father with a woman other than their own mother.
To Elsa, after July 26, To Elsa, July 30, To Heinrich Zangger, November 26, To Michele Besso, July 14, To Michele Besso, July 21, What man would tolerate something so palpably smelly being stuck up his nose all his life, for no purpose at all, with the secondary obligation of also putting on a friendly face? From now on I will no longer bother her about a divorce. The accompanying battle with my relatives 40 The Quotations has taken place. I have learned to withstand the tears. To Michele Besso, September 6, The divorce finally did take place in February in Switzerland.
Einstein, as the guilty party, was ordered not to marry for the next two years; but, despite the ban, he married Elsa just two and a half months later since the prohibition did not apply under German law. Thus I deprive myself of my boys, whom I still love tenderly. Her parents and her sister. In this respect, dear Helene, you could be of great use to her, helping her surmount her moments of discouragement. I am deeply grateful for everything you have done for Mitsa and especially for the children. On and to His Family 41 To Mileva, April 23, , after attending to legal paperwork that would financially take care of her and the boys in case of his death.
When we are not, I can like her quite well; she seems all right to me, even as the mother of my boys. To Michele Besso, July 29, To Heinrich Zangger, September 18, Einstein Archives She never reconciled herself to the separation and divorce, and a disposition developed reminiscent of the classical example of Medea.
This darkened the relations with my two boys, to whom I was attached with tenderness. This tragic aspect of my life continued undiminished until my advanced age.
MORE IN LIFE
To Carl Seelig, May 5, , about Mileva. The affair continued after the family moved to Berlin in He was not divorced from Mileva, who soon returned to Zurich, until February In June of that year he married Elsa, though for many years he had been telling friends that he had no intention of marrying her and had even considered marrying her daughter Ilse instead.
I will always destroy your letters, as is your wish. I have already destroyed the first one. To Elsa, April 30, , responding to her misgivings about their affair. Otherwise it is a miserable existence. And that someone is you. I suffer even more than you because you suffer only for what you do not have. To Elsa, May 7, , alluding to his difficult wife, Mileva.
I have a feeling that it will not be good for us, nor for the others, if we form a closer attachment. To Elsa, May 21, We will have each other, something we have missed so terribly, and will give each other the gift of stability and an optimistic view of the world. To Elsa, October 10, To Elsa, November 7, It is mostly because of this that I am accustoming myself very well to the large city [Berlin], which is otherwise loathsome to me.
To Paul Ehrenfest, ca. April 10, , on his adjustment to life in Berlin. Nothing in my life changes by it. Why should the original sin be even harder on these poor daughters of Eve? To Heinrich Zangger, March 1, The Einsteins felt that Margot and Ilse would have difficulty finding marriage partners if their mother was carrying on an affair. The latter is more suitable because she is healthier and more practical. To Fritz Haber, October 6, , on taking a traveling companion on a lecture trip to Norway.
Lieserl was born in January before Einstein and Mileva were married, and she may have been given up for adoption or was raised by friends. She may also have died from the effects of scarlet fever when she was a toddler; no mention is made of her after September , and Einstein apparently never saw her. There is still speculation as to the real fate of Lieserl, who may have survived the scarlet fever and never knew her origins, or suffered some other yet unknown fate. Only Hans Albert had children. Eduard developed schizophrenia at the age of twenty, though up to that time he had been a somewhat fragile but essentially healthy young man pursuing a medical education.
Eduard remained in Switzerland all of his life; Einstein told his biographer Carl Seelig that he rarely wrote to Eduard after leaving Europe for reasons he could not analyze himself. If this will only pass. As what is the child registered? This somewhat cryptic to the reader letter was sent to Mileva ca. September 19, My influence will be limited to the intellectual and esthetic.
I want to teach him mainly to think, judge, and appreciate things objectively. For this I need several weeks a year—a few days would only be a short thrill with no deeper value. To Mileva, who was afraid that her own relationship with Hans Albert would suffer if he had too much contact with his father, December 1, They are in such excellent physical and emotional shape that I could not wish for more.
And I know this is for the most part due to the proper upbringing you are providing. They came to meet me spontaneously and sweetly. Following an exceedingly nice Easter excursion, the subsequent days in Zurich brought on a complete chilling in a way that is not quite explicable to me. How much better off I am than countless others who have lost their children in the War! To Heinrich Zangger, July 11, Hans Albert lived with him occasionally when Mileva was ill.
I miss him often. He is already a person with a mind of his own whom one can talk to, and so thoroughly sound in an honest way. To Michele Besso, January 6, I am delighted that Albert is with you. I am going to get European money again soon for my family; nothing more can be done with the local currency. To Heinrich Zangger, February 27, , alluding to the deflation of the German mark. They feel as if I have exchanged them for you. To Margot Einstein, referring to her and Ilse, August 26, I am most especially satisfied with their cheerful and modest ways; secondly, of course, also their lively intelligence.
To Mileva, August 28, Too little personal interaction with others, which gives rise to a feeling of isolation and inhibitions of other sorts. He is an interesting little fellow, but he will not have an easy time in life. To Mileva, August 14, To his uncle, Caesar Koch, who had just become a grandfather, October 26, By they had made Einstein a grandpa, too, with the birth of Bernhard.
To Mileva, June 15, Translated in Neffe, Einstein, Einstein Archives The deepest sorrow loving parents can experience has come upon you. Everything I observed of your little son indicated he was becoming a well-balanced and self-assured person with a healthy outlook on 50 The Quotations life. Although I saw him only for a short period, he was as close to me as if he had grown up near me.
To Hans Albert and wife Frieda, January 7, , after the sudden death of six-year-old Klaus, their son, probably of diphtheria. See Roboz Einstein, Hans Albert Einstein, 34 It is a thousand pities for the boy that he must pass his life without the hope of a normal existence. Since the insulin injections have proved unsuccessful, I have no further hopes from the medical side. I think it is better on the whole to let Nature run its course. To Michele Besso, November 11, , about son Eduard. Einstein Archives There is a block behind it that I cannot fully analyze.
But one factor is that I think I would arouse painful feelings of various kinds in him if I made an appearance in whatever form. To Carl Seelig, January 4, , stating why he was not in touch with Eduard. In his will, Einstein left a larger amount of money to Eduard than to Hans Albert.
Einstein Archives It is a joy for me to have a son who has inherited the chief trait of my personality: the ability to rise above mere existence by sacrificing oneself through the years for an impersonal goal.
This is the best, indeed the only way in which we can make ourselves inde- On and to His Family 51 pendent from personal fate and from other human beings. To Hans Albert, May 11, Einstein Archives Honesty compels me to admit that Frieda reminded me of your 50th birthday. When Margot speaks, you see flowers growing. Two-and-a-half-year-old Albert, after the birth of Maja in , upon being told he would now have something new to play with. It is interesting how life gradually changes us 52 The Quotations in the very subtleties of our soul, so that even the closest of family ties dwindle into habitual friendship.
Deep inside we no longer understand one another and are incapable of empathizing with the other, or know what emotions move the other. Now she is lying in my study and suffering terribly, physically and mentally. It seems that her torments will last a long time yet; she still looks good, but mentally she has suffered very much under the morphine. We are all completely exhausted. To Heinrich Zangger, February 27, There is no consolation.
All of us have this heavy burden to bear, for it is inseparably bound up with life. To Hedwig Born, June 18, , after the death of her mother. To Anna Meyer-Schmid, May 12, Einstein Archives There is, after all, something eternal that lies beyond the reach of the hand of fate and of all human delusions. And such eternals lie closer to an older person than to a younger one who oscillates between fear and hope. To Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, March 20, Einstein Archives People like you and I, though mortal of course, like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long 56 The Quotations we live.
What I mean is that we never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born. To Otto Juliusburger, September 29, We can after all quietly leave it to nature gradually to reduce us to dust if she does not prefer a more rapid method.
To Max Born, September 7, Einstein Archives I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously. Moos, March 30, But then, twilight with its more subdued colors has its charms as well. To Gertrud Warschauer, April 4, Einstein Archives I [have] always loved solitude, a trait that tends to increase with age.
Einstein Archives If younger people were not taking care of me, I would surely try to be institutionalized, so that I would not have to become so concerned about the decline of my physical and mental powers, which after all is unpreventable in the natural course of things. Lebach, May 12, One should prepare a person for his death.
With age, one becomes much more aware that similar events recur. Later on, one 58 The Quotations is less often delighted or surprised, but also less disappointed. To Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, January 3, Einstein Archives I believe that older people who have scarcely anything to lose ought to be willing to speak out on behalf of those who are young and who are subject to much greater restraint. Einstein Archives I am feeling my age greatly. I enjoy living, but I would not mind if it all suddenly ended. This was fashionable in Paris at that time. But life is still worthwhile as long as I can still work.
To Margot Einstein. I have heard of Boston as one of the most famous cities in the world and the center of education. I am happy to be here and expect to enjoy my visit to this city and to Harvard. On his visit to the city with Chaim Weizmann. New York Times, May 17, Contributed by A. Kox in response to the many quotations about Princeton in this book see later in this section.
I had to consent to being shown around like a prize ox to address innumerable small and large gatherings. To Michele Besso, ca. May 21—30, For the rest, they are toy dogs for their wives, who spend the money in the most excessive fashion and who shroud themselves in a veil of extravagance. From an interview in the Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant, July 4, Einstein insisted he was wrongly quoted and wrote a rebuttal in the Vossische Zeitung six days later, claiming he was shocked when he read the account.
Even if Americans are less scholarly than Germans, they do have more enthusiasm and energy, causing a wider dissemination of new ideas among the people. Quoted in the New York Times, July 12, A firm approach is indispensable everywhere in America; otherwise one receives no payment and little esteem.
To Maurice Solovine, January 14, Published in Letters to Solovine, Einstein Archives Never yet have I experienced from the fair sex such energetic rejection of my advances; or if I have, never from so many at once. According to Rowe and Schulmann, Einstein on Politics, —, the right-wing group, under the leadership of a Mrs. From an interview with G.
It is possible that this mixture of races makes their nationalism less objectionable than the nationalism of Europe. It may be due to the fact that [Americans] do not suffer from the heritage of hatred or fear, which poisons the relations of the nations of Europe. Everyone, irrespective of birth, has the opportunity, not merely on paper but in actual practice, to develop his energies freely for the benefit of the human community as a whole. Individual freedom provides a better basis for productive labor than any form of tyranny.
19 Incredibly Successful People Who Started Out As Failures
See Rowe and Schulmann, Einstein on Politics, —, for full text. I eagerly look forward to renewing old friendships and to broadening my understanding in the light of what I shall see and learn while among you. I feel that you are justified in looking into the future with true assurance, because you have a mode of living in which one finds the joy of life and the joy of work harmoniously combined. Einstein Readex not in archive database Here in Pasadena it is like paradise.
Always sunshine and fresh air, gardens with palm and pepper trees, and friendly people who smile at one and ask for autographs. To the Lebach family during the days before smog, January 16, , on the city in which the California Institute of Technology is located. Einstein Archives On America and Americans 67 [America], this land of contrasts and surprises, which leaves one filled alternately with admiration and incredulity.
One feels more attached to the Old Europe, with its heartaches and hardships, and is glad to return there. To Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, February 9, , revealing a touch of homesickness during his three-month stay in America. Einstein Archives The smile on the faces of the people. He is friendly, self-confident, optimistic—and not envious. Source misquoted in Ideas and Opinions, 3. Einstein Archives The American lives even more for his goals, for the future, than the European. Life for him is always becoming, never being.
He is less of an individualist than the European. I have warm admiration for American institutes of scientific research. We are unjust in attempting to ascribe the increasing superiority of American research work exclusively to superior wealth; devotion, patience, a spirit of comradeship, and a talent for cooperation play an important part in its success. Einstein came to this conclusion because Americans showed such reverence and respect for him, despite their reputed materialism. For the long term I would prefer being in Holland rather than in America.
Besides having a handful of really fine scholars, it is a boring and barren society that would soon make you tremble. To Paul Ehrenfest, April 3, , after his return to Europe. Einstein Archives I am very happy at the prospect of becoming an American citizen in another year. My desire to be a citizen of a free republic has always been strong and prompted me in my younger days to emigrate from Germany to Switzerland.
From a statement issued on his sixtieth birthday. Science 89, n. See Rowe and Schulmann, Einstein on Politics, I believe that many of them would find life not worth living under such circumstances. Hence, it is all the more important for them to see to it that these liberties be preserved and protected. Today more than ever, the fate of the human race depends upon the moral strength of human beings. Quoted in Nathan and Norden, Einstein on Peace, Einstein Archives The only justifiable purpose of political institutions is to assure the unhindered development of the 70 The Quotations individual.
That is why I consider myself to be particularly fortunate to be an American. If Hitler were not a lunatic, he could easily have avoided the hostility of the Western powers. To Frank Kingdon, September 3, No one humbles himself before another person or class. To Hans Muehsam, March 24, The worst is that nowhere is there anything with which one can identify. Brutality and lies are everywhere.
Einstein Archives The German calamity of years ago repeats itself: people acquiesce without resistance and align themselves with the forces of evil. Einstein Archives I have become a kind of enfant terrible in my new homeland because of my inability to keep silent and swallow everything that happens here. Quoted in the New York Times, July 8, , reporting on his lecture trip to his future hometown 72 The Quotations Princeton is a wondrous little spot, a quaint and ceremonious village of puny demigods on stilts.
Yet, by ignoring certain social conventions, I have been able to create for myself an atmosphere conducive to study and free from distraction. To Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, November 20, Einstein Archives To an elderly man society here remains intrinsically foreign. To Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, February 16, Einstein Archives I am very happy with my new home in friendly America and in the liberal atmosphere of Princeton. From an interview, Survey Graphic 24 August , , I am privileged by fate to live here in Princeton as if on an island that. Into this small university town the chaotic voices of human strife barely penetrate.
I am almost ashamed to be living in such a place while all the rest struggle and suffer. Einstein Archives In the face of all the heavy burdens I have borne in recent years, I feel doubly thankful that there has On America and Americans 73 fallen on my lot in Princeton University a place for work and a scientific atmosphere which could not be better or more harmonious.
To university president Harold Dodds, January 14, Part of this message is inscribed on the Einstein statue in Princeton. On going to Princeton. I wished for this isolation all my life, and now I have finally achieved it here in Princeton. In addition, an awkward gait, and a cigar in the mouth. In Calaprice, Dear Professor Einstein, But until the presentation of relativity theory, it was thought that the concept of absolute motion was necessary for the formulation of the laws of motion. But it would be better if you began to teach others only after you yourself have learned something.
To Arthur Cohen, age twelve, who had submitted a paper to Einstein, December 26, Young Arthur eventually went to Stanford, then received a Ph. To an inquisitive child, name unknown, January 13, See Calaprice, Dear Professor Einstein, I myself have visited your beautiful country, its cities, houses, its mountains and forests, from which Japanese youngsters derive a love for their homeland.
On my table lies a large book full of colorful pictures drawn by Japanese children. Remember that ours is the first era in which it has been possible for people of different nations to conduct their affairs in a friendly and understanding manner. May the spirit of brotherly understanding. I, an old man,. Written in fall In Calaprice, Dear Professor Einstein, — All this is now laid in your hands as your inheritance, to the end that you may receive, honor, and advance it and On and to Children 79 some day faithfully convey it to your posterity.
If you will constantly keep this in mind, you will find a meaning in life and effort and will attain the right attitude toward other peoples and other times. From a speech at Pasadena City College, February 26, Differently translated in Mein Weltbild, To Dick Emmons, a sixteen-year-old amateur astronomer who later became a longtime member of Operation Moonwatch, a Smithsonian-sponsored organization started in to help track artificial satellites, November 11, Princeton, N. But also remember the lessons taught by the one whose birthday you are celebrating.
Learn to be happy through the good fortunes and joys of your friends and not through senseless quarrels. Your burden will seem lighter 80 The Quotations or more bearable to you, you will find your own way through patience, and you will spread joy everywhere. Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer. But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man.
In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort. To Phyllis Wright, January 24, Until now I never dreamed to be something like a hero. But since you have given me the nomination, I feel that I am one. Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics; I can assure you that mine are still greater.
To junior high school student Barbara Wilson, January 7, But there seems to be a very stubborn boy who has forced his way victoriously through strange difficulties created by himself for this purpose. I have to apologize to you that I am still among the living. There will be a remedy for this, however. I hope that [your] future atsronomical investigations will not be discovered anymore by the eyes and ears of your school government. To Myfanwy Williams in South Africa, who confided that she thought Einstein was dead, and that she and her friends secretly used a telescope after lights-out at her boarding school, August 25, But the main thing is that you yourself do not mind.
There is no reason for it. From another letter to Myfanwy, September—October As for the question of the end of it I advise: Wait and see! I enclose a few stamps for your collection. Without sunlight there is: no wheat, no bread, no grass, no cattle, no meat, no milk, and everything would be frozen. No life. Despite my being an old gypsy there is a tendency to respectability inherent in old age— also with me. I am a little but not too much bewildered.
There is no better opportunity to acquire the lifelong insights that are necessary for the resolution of international problems and conflicts. We call something an animal which has certain characteristics: it takes nourishment, it descends from parents similar to itself, it grows, it moves by itself, it dies if its time has run out. Think about [humans] in the abovementioned way and then decide for yourselves whether it is a natural thing to regard ourselves as animals.
To children of Westview School, January 17, To children of Farmingdale, N. To son Hans Albert, after the boys returned to Zurich with their mother, January 25, Another thing, brush your teeth every day, and if a tooth is not quite all right, go to the dentist immediately.
I also do the same and am now very happy that I have healthy teeth. This is very important, as you will realize yourself later on. April In a letter later that year he urges the two boys to take calcium chloride after every meal to promote strong tooth and bone development. You can also learn a lot of good things from me that no one else can offer you so easily.
In the last few days I completed one of the finest papers of my life. To eleven-year-old Hans Albert, November 4, , also referring to his paper on the general theory of relativity. I have one in my little apartment, too, and play it every day. I also play the violin a lot. To Hans Albert, March 11, Einstein was not able to come at Christmas because of the difficulty of crossing borders during wartime, so he planned a trip at Easter. You must take care in that regard: it makes a bad impression when words are misspelled. To Hans Albert, March 16, Are we never going to see each other again?
To Hans Albert, September 26, Einstein learned that the boys had become angry with him. They reconciled and continued to write occasionally, while Einstein visited about once a year during wartime. It is not necessary to have good marks in everything. To Hans Albert, October 13, To Eduard Einstein, August 1, His letter is full of mistrust, lack of respect, and a nasty attitude toward me.
I truly did not deserve that and will not put up with it. To Eduard Einstein, July 15, , after a continuing tiff with Hans Albert, who had faithfully sided with his mother during separation and divorce. To Elsa Einstein, August 11, To Ida Hurwitz, November 22, For they are us; our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. Einstein Archives Death is a reality. Life ends definitely when the subject, by his actions, no longer affects his 92 The Quotations environment. He can no longer add an iota to the sum total of his experience.
Nature is not an engineer or a contractor, and I myself am a part of Nature. In answer to a question concerning what facts would determine if his life was a success or failure, November 12, To his sister, Maja, August 31, Quoted in Einstein: A Portrait, To Boris Schwarz, on the death of his father, Einstein Archives On Death 93 Is there not a certain satisfaction in the fact that natural limits are set to the life of the individual, so that at its conclusion it may appear as a work of art?
It is left to each of us to deal with our share of these alone. To Hans Albert Einstein, August 4, In answer to a request that he participate in a television program on how some famous people would spend the last two minutes of their lives, August 26, Einstein Archives I myself should also be dead already, but I am still here. Schaerer-Meyer, July 27, Einstein Archives Brief is this existence, like a brief visit in a strange house. Obituary for physicist Rudolf Ladenburg, April But all the suffering unites us with those. With my heart I touch your hand.
To Gerhard Fankhauser, a professor of biology at Princeton, whose wife died in a car accident. November 10, Sent to me by Robin Remy, whose mother inherited a copy of the original. Einstein Archives To one bent on age, death will come as a release. I feel this quite strongly now that I have grown old myself and have come to regard death like an old debt, at long last to be discharged. Still, instinctively one does everything possible to postpone the final settlement. Such is the game that Nature plays with us.
To Gertrud Warschauer, February 5, It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share; it is time to go. I will do it elegantly. See Pais, Subtle Is the Lord, Look into nature, and then you will understand it better. Thanks to Barbara Wolff for this new source. I feel such solidarity with all those alive that it is immaterial to me where the individual begins and where he ends. First mentioned by Hedi Born in a letter of or , where she says that Einstein made the remark when he was critically ill. This house will never become a place of pilgrimage where the pilgrims come to look at the bones of the saint.
On Education, Students, and Academic Freedom An organization cannot in itself engender intellectual activity, but rather can only support what is already in existence. Quoted by Moszkowski, Conversations with Einstein, 65 Most teachers waste their time by asking questions that are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning is to discover what the pupil does know or is capable of knowing.
Dedication to Adriana Enriques, ca. October 22, Einstein Archives In the matter of physics [education], the first lessons should contain nothing but what is experimental and interesting to see. The unnamed author is quoting from Moszkowski, Conversations with Einstein, 69 It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.
Quoted in Frank, Einstein: His Life and Times, It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. Einstein dedicated the building and its observatory on February 26, On Education, Students, Academic Freedom , with a short speech, and also contributed the above words to be inscribed on the small bronze dedicatory plaque inside the building.
The elaborate ceremony was attended by most Pasadena schoolchildren as well. No doubt other people have had the same thought through the centuries and the concept is not original to France, either. See also the next quotation, written three years later. Similar to the preceding quotation, but written for the National Council of Supervisors of Elementary Science in Numerous and large are The Quotations the lecture halls, but far from numerous the young people who genuinely thirst for truth and justice.
Numerous are the wares that nature produces by the dozen, but her choice products are few. But the students at our universities have ceased as completely as their teachers to embody the hopes and ideals of the people. Specialization in every sphere of intellectual work is producing an ever-widening gulf between the intellectual worker and the non-specialist, which makes it more difficult for the life of the nation to be fertilized and enriched by the achievements of art and science.
Such occupations as the service of lighthouses and lightships come to mind. Would it not be possible to place On Education, Students, Academic Freedom young people who wish to think about scientific problems, especially of a mathematical or philosophical nature, in such occupations?
Very few young people with such ambitions have, even during the most productive period of their lives, the opportunity to devote themselves undisturbed for any length of time to problems of a scientific nature. Einstein Archives Never regard your study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn the liberating beauty of the intellect for your own personal joy and for the profit of the community to which your later work will belong. Published in Progressive Education 9 , ; reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, 58 The Quotations In the schools, history should be used as a means of interpreting progress in civilization, and not for inculcating ideals of imperialistic power and military success.
Humiliation and mental oppression by ignorant and selfish teachers wreak havoc in the youthful mind that can never be undone and often exert a baleful influence in later life. Einstein Archives To me the worst thing seems to be for a school principally to work with the methods of fear, force, and artificial authority. Such treatment destroys the sound sentiments, the sincerity, and the self-confidence of the pupil. From an address at the celebration of the tercentenary of higher education in America at the State University of New York in Albany, October 15, In School and Society 44 , — Einstein Archives The aim [of education] must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals who, however, see in the service to the community their highest life achievement.
The next quotation, written sixteen years later, reveals what might otherwise happen. Otherwise, he—with his specialized knowledge— more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. Einstein Archives Freedom of teaching and of opinion in book or press is the foundation for the sound and natural development of any people. From an address written for a gathering of university teachers that never took place, From an address at Swarthmore College, June 6, Neither intelligence nor inventions nor institutions can serve as substitutes for these most vital parts of education.
See also Jerome, Einstein on Israel and Zionism, Einstein Archives The school of life is chaotic and planless, while the school system operates according to a definite plan. That explains. Published in Nathan and Norden, Einstein on Peace, I believe that it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciouslness. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship material success as a preparation for his future career.
On education in a socialist system. Einstein Archives I never had the chance to teach youngsters. A pity. I would actually have liked to teach high school. This right also implies a duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true. It is evident that any restriction of academic freedom acts in such a way as to hamper the dissemination of knowledge among the people and thereby impedes rational judgment and action. Facsimile in Cahn, Einstein, Einstein Archives I am opposed to examinations—they only deter from the interest in studying.
I would hold seminars, and if the young people are interested and listen, I would give them a diploma. Response to a student who complained about his teacher. That signifies nothing. For those of us who believe in physics, the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. On lifelong friend Michele Besso, in a letter of condolence to the Besso family, March 21, , less than a month before his own death.
Einstein Archives What I admired most in him as a human being is that he managed to live for so many years not only in peace but also in lasting harmony with a woman—an undertaking in which I twice failed rather miserably. On Niels Bohr — Not often in my life has a person given me such joy by his presence as you have. He is like an extremely sensitive child who moves around in this world in a sort of trance.
To Paul Ehrenfest, May 4, He is unquestionably one of the greatest discoverers of our age in the scientific field. Einstein Archives He is truly a man of genius. I have full confidence in his way of thinking. To Paul Ehrenfest, March 23, This is the highest form of musicality in the sphere of thought. On the German physicist whom Einstein admired. Born won the Nobel Prize in , which may have helped his financial circumstances. Einstein Archives On Pablo Casals — What I admire in him particularly is his steadfast demeanor not only against the oppressors of his people, but against all those opportunists who are always ready to make a pact with the devil.
He has clearly recognized that the world is more threatened The Quotations by those who tolerate evil or support it than the evildoers themselves. Written March 30, Einstein admired the Spanish cellist not only for his music, but for his humanism and staunch opposition to the fascist Franco regime in Spain. Einstein Archives On Charlie Chaplin — [He] had set up a Japanese theater in his home, with authentic Japanese dances being performed by Japanese girls. Just as in his films, Chaplin is an enchanting person. To the Lebach family, January 16, , after visiting the film actor in Hollywood.
In my room he acted as if he were being brought into a temple. She is an unpretentious, honest person with more than her share of responsibilities On Friends, Scientists, and Others and burdens. She has a sparkling intelligence, but despite her passionate nature she is not attractive enough to present a danger to anyone.
To Marie Curie, November 23, To witness such marvelous camaraderie among such people is the most uplifting thing I can think of. Everything looked so natural and uncomplicated with you, like a good work of art. I wish to ask your forgiveness if by any chance my crude manners sometimes made you feel uncomfortable. To Marie Curie, April 3, And she has a daughter who is even worse—like a grenadier. This daughter is also very gifted. August 11, To Marie Curie, December 25, , while complaining to her about the League of Nations and giving his reasons for resigning from its Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
He rejoined six months later. After publishing the novel, Melville struggled financially for the rest of his life. He used much of his savings to publish his subsequent novel Pierre, which also was not well-received. At the time of his death in , he was a customs inspector at a ship dock in New York. When Honda, an engineer for whom the popular car company is named, first failed to get a job with now-competitor Toyota , he took to making scooters in his own garage.
Little did the world know that this time of unemployment would lead him to create the billion-dollar business we recognize today. His paintings may be worth millions today, but no one really gave them a second thought during van Gogh's lifetime. In fact, he managed to create almost paintings in a span of 10 years, yet he only lived to see a single one sold which went to a friend at a very low price.
She may have only been 11 years old at the time, but the young and driven TSwift struggled at first to find a record label in Nashville, Tennessee, that would sign her. During a middle school spring break, she took a demo CD of her singing karaoke covers of country stars Dolly Parton, the Dixie Chicks and LeAnn Rimes to Music Row and handed copies to as many music label receptionists as she could, but said she wasn't signed because " everyone in that town wanted to do what I wanted to do.
This wildly successful American author of all things horror and suspense almost didn't get his big break -- 30 times! It was with his wife Tabby's help that he was finally able to convince Doubleday to publish Carrie. He has since become the 19th best-selling author of all time. Our favorite colonel from Kentucky Fried Chicken sure had to fight the good fight to get his secret recipe into the restaurant world.
He was rejected a whopping 1, times before he finally got that fried chicken to taste just right. Talk about perseverance. The famous cartoonist who brought the world the "Peanuts" comic strip experienced quite a bit of rejection early in his career. None of the cartoon drawings he designed for his high school yearbook were ever selected to be published, and later Walt Disney turned him down for a job. It looks like it's a good thing he believed that " you can't create humor out of happiness. Before the King of Rock 'n' Roll hit it big, he was told by the Grand Ole Opry manager in Nashville that he would be better off going back to his job as a truck driver than pursuing a career in music.
Elvis many have never returned to that venue for another concert, but it's obvious he didn't have to go back to prove Jim Denny wrong. Before J.
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Rowling hit it big with Harry Potter , she was a broke, divorced single mother struggling to get by on welfare. In a matter of five years, the series took off, leading her to become the first billionaire author. The founder of Sony was considered a major flop at first , manufacturing a rice cooker that burned way more food than it cooked.
But despite poor early sales that brought the mockery of Sony as a new company by the business community, Akio Morita found a way to turn the brand into the multi-billion dollar company the world knows today. He may now be one of the most successful filmmakers in the world, but the University of Southern California refused to give Steven Spielberg a shot in the School of Theater, Film and Television -- three times. He clearly didn't take no for an answer as he went on to pursue directing, and the school awarded him an honorary degree in This New York-native, electro-pop diva proved just how badly she wanted to be in the spotlight throughout the early years of her career.
After dropping out of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts to pursue her music and joining with major label Def Jam Recordings, she was let go only three months after being signed , forcing her to start all over again. Scott Fitzgerald had extremely high hopes for his novel The Great Gatsby , hoping for " something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.