HomeStandard StyleBuilding Narratives: Even Albert Einstein wrote

Building Narratives: Even Albert Einstein wrote

 Fungayi Sox
April 18 marked the 67th Anniversary since the great science legend Albert Einstein rested in eternal sleep.

Reporting on his death in 1955, The New York Times of April 18 carried the front-page headline Dr Albert Einstein Dies in sleep at 76: World Mourns Loss of a Great Scientist.

Undoubtedly, Albert Einstein remains the greatest intellectual asset to have graced mother earth and left solid footprints which have impacted and transformed our lives.

Although the worlds of science and arts are often treated in contrast or comparison — even the legendary father of physics left tones of letters and notes which have been auctioned for millions of dollars in recent years.

In general, science as a subject has or continue to be linked to technology and innovation–and one of my greatest areas of concern in the government’s STEM drive has been the over-emphasis of science and technology while understating the role of critical skills including academic writing, presentation and journaling of inventions as equally important skills which in essence would be associated to the arts field.

Shortly before his death, Einstein got into a pact with philosopher Bertrand Russell where the two intellectuals penned a powerful address dubbed Russel-Einstein Manifesto in which they made an intellectual appeal warning the world leaders of the severe consequences of a nuclear war. The address which was in the form of a letter read:

“In the tragic situation which confronts humanity, we feel that scientists should assemble in conference to appraise the perils that have arisen as a result of the development of weapons of mass destruction, and to discuss a resolution in the spirit of the appended draft.

We are speaking on this occasion, not as members of this or that nation, continent, or creed, but as human beings, members of the species Man, whose continued existence is in doubt. The world is full of conflicts; and, overshadowing all minor conflicts, the titanic struggle between Communism and anti-Communism.

Almost everybody who is politically conscious has strong feelings about one or more of these issues; but we want you, if you can, to set aside such feelings and consider yourselves only as members of a biological species which has had a remarkable history, and whose disappearance none of us can desire.

We shall try to say no single word which should appeal to one group rather than to another. All, equally, are in peril, and, if the peril is understood, there is hope that they may collectively avert it.

We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves, not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever group we prefer, for there no longer are such steps; the question we have to ask ourselves is: what steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous to all parties?

It is apparently clear that in this instance the two academics used their academic and technical expertise which they penned in the form of a letter address to call for a peaceful resolution to international conflict to avoid “universal death.”

Besides this address, Einstein wrote several other letters which raked in millions of dollars at auctions.

In 2017, an old note in which Einstein gave advice on happy living was sold for $1,5 million at an auction in Jerusalem, Israel.

The note had a single sentence which read:

“A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the constant restlessness that comes with it”

In 1924 the scientist also wrote a letter to his step daughter which stated: “I love her (Margot) as much as if she were my own daughter, perhaps even more so, since who know what kind of brat she would have become (had I fathered her).

From the look of things even the great Einstein had multiple character flaws which he therapeutically admitted as noted in some of his writings which were released to the public years after his demise.

It is William Gass who observed that “The true alchemist does not change lead into gold, they change the world into words” and this observation validates Einstein’s life.

  • Fungayi Antony Sox is the managing consultant at Tisu Mazwi — a communications centred social enterprise that facilitates book project management, including writing and publishing, content development and marketing, research, digital media and personal development. He writes in his personal capacity. For one-on-one writing and self-publishing coaching sessions, contact him on 0776 030 949, follow him on Twitter @AntonySox or connect with him on LinkedIn on Fungayi Antony Sox..

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