Einstein Letters … the Girl Who Wished To Be a Scientist

Everyone is a genius …
But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
- Albert Einstein

Secret to learning, knowledge, and imagination? Probably not to Einstein. No stranger to sharing knowledge and advice with young minds.

I am a fan of Albert Einstein, there is no doubt (see our earlier post: The Wisdom of Albert Einstein … A Man Ahead of His Time). There is probably more to Einstein and philosophy outside of science than in his world within science and many great stories.

As an example … Einstein’s views on life were most interesting. A focus on simplicity was one of his main tenets and though his skill in physics was renown, he believed everything that can be counted did not necessarily count and that everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.

He believed in being a giver… only a life lived for others was a life worthwhile. Einstein was often frustrated with the state of his times and felt that the world would require a substantially new manner of thinking to survive. He felt that the world was dangerous not because of evil people but because of people who recognize the evil, yet do nothing about it.

His characterization of the age was that world leadership had developed a perfection of means yet had a significant confusion of ends.

We recently read a very interesting article from Brain Picking’s Weekly. Have you ever read from this weekly? Always chock full of interesting reads. Certainly the case here, especially since we are such fans of Albert Einstein. It is a story we will share.

From Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein’s Letters to and from Children (public library) comes the following exchange between Einstein and a bright, witty South African girl named Tyfanny, who reminded Einstein of his own granddaughter and with whom he exchanged several letters despite being at the height of his career and cultural prominence.

In a letter dated September 19, 1946, Tyfanny writes:

I forgot to tell you, in my last letter, that I was a girl. I mean I am a girl. I have always regretted this a great deal, but by now I have become more or less resigned to the fact. Anyway, I hate dresses and dances and all the kind of rot girls usually like. I much prefer horses and riding. Long ago, before I wanted to become a scientist, I wanted to b e a jockey and ride horses in races. But that was ages ago, now. I hope you will not think any the less of me for being a girl!

Sometime between September and October 1946 — a snappy response time by the day’s standards — Einstein replies:

I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind. There is no reason for it.

What is most amazing to me is the fact that most of his wisdom is more applicable in today’s society than it was in his. He was always considered ahead of his time wasn’t he?

Einstein was never short of good ideas. And his best ideas were perhaps those ideas not limited to science.

Remember … stay curious; keep refreshing your sources. What we see depends on what we look for.

Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics that relate to improving the performance of business. Find them on G+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.