On the Value of Art and the True Artist

“Only to a tiny minority is it given to fascinate their generation by subtle humour and grace and to hold the mirror up to it by the impersonal agency of art. To-day I salute with sincere emotion the supreme master of this method, who has delighted — and educated — us all.”
-Albert Einstein

The artist’s laser-beam, with its wit and easy grace yet also with unrelenting intensity, that reveals to us who we really are and what it means to be human, is a gift beyond accounting, .

From the few, much is given to the many.



On the Lack of Independent Thinkers in the World

“There are few enough people with sufficient independence to see the weaknesses and follies of their contemporaries and remain themselves untouched by them.”
-Albert Einstein

Too few are of independent and courageous enough mind to see the truth of the world, as humans inhabit it, and not instead get drawn into the seeming propensity for foolishness.


On the Solace of Solitude

“I am truly a ‘lone traveler’ and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude…”
-Albert Einstein

No man is an island, all are connected and depend on the society of their fellows.

There are those who nonetheless must remain at a distance. The artist, the traveler, the thinker, the loner. Those who find in solace in solitude.  

On the Importance of the “Elevator Speech”

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
-Albert Einstein

Any well understood idea, fully considered plan, or sound theory must be summarized in less than a minute. Otherwise you’re wasting your own time and everyone else’s.

Simplicity is the clarifying beam of understanding.

On the Illusion of Certainty

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
-Albert Einstein

To the degree that you are certain of reality is the degree to which you do not know what is real. And vice-versa.  

On the Key to Growing Old and Wise (Instead of Just Old)

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
-Albert Einstein

The body will stop growing, begin to break down, wither… But it is the seeking mind that grows wise as well as old, knowing that the act of questioning is the fundamental source of wisdom. 

We cease to grow when we stop questioning.

On the Difference Between Being Smart and Being a Genius

“Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them”
-Albert Einstein

Many a smart and diligent intellect may apply itself to the resolution crisis. It is to the avoidance of such that true genius lies.

On Cautious Optimism

“The stakes are immense, the task colossal, the time is short. But we may hope — we must hope — that man’s own creation, man’s own genius, will not destroy him. Scholars, indeed all men, must move forward in the faith of that philosopher who held that there is no problem the human reason can propound which the human reason cannot reason out.”
-Albert Einstein

It is too easy to view world events and abandon hope. We’re all doomed!! 

But not only is hope possible, it is required – a mission and a duty for all caring human beings – for finding a way out of the mess we have made.