Happy Birthday to Albert Einstein!
The man who epitomized genius would have turned 138 yesterday. The German born scientist is internationally famous for his theory of relativity and his other work in physics. Time Magazine named him the “Person of the Century” in 1999.
He also contributed to the philosophy of science, writing about the relationship between science and faith.
Add to all these achievement the fact that Einstein was also a social activist, and you can see why he was so admired during his lifetime and beyond.
Albert Einstein also had a way with words (that whole story about him being a late speaker is just a myth). Some of the scientist’s most famous quotes also show that he would have made a wonderful elementary school teacher.
Here are some of our favorites.
1. “Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never made anything new.”
I love this. As a former fifth grade teacher, I know how important it is for kids to be comfortable with mistakes. If they don’t dare to make a guess, or make an attempt at solving a problem, they won’t get anywhere. This quote was always on my classroom wall.
2. “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
Bam. So true! I would love to send this one to some folks in Washington…
The famous genius also had a good sense of humor. When he was asked to explain the theory of relativity, he put it this way.
3. “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
Isn’t that perfect? What a short and sweet way to demonstrate a complex idea.
Check out this quote about fashion. It’s even funnier.
4. “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.”
But Einstein also had some very serious thoughts to share. He was born in Germany and lived through two World Wars. He understood the cruelty of humans and the inability to settle differences peacefully. He said this about war:
5. “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Very scary. Another quote that really should be posted in a prominent place in the Oval Office and the Kremlin.
Finally, this quote from the smartest man who has ever lived. It must have been hard for a genius not to be totally cynical.
6. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
What more could we possibly add to that?