Beautiful Advice from Einstein to His Son on the Relationship Between Pleasure and Learning
In this letter, Einstein speaks to his son from a point of rationality and spirituality, encouraging him to enjoy his activities in order to access true learning.
Adding to the best letters from parents to their children, on this occasion we’re transcribing one that Albert Einstein, brilliant physician, peace advocate, and transformer of science and spirituality, wrote to his son.
The letter was written in 1915 while Einstein lived in Berlin with his wife Mileva, and his two children, Hans Albert and Eduard “Tete”, lived in Vienna. As Einstein was writing this, he had just finished completing the chef d’oeuvre which would catapult him to international fame and historical glory: the Theory of Relativity.
In this simple, lucid letter, Einstein reminds his son that wherever creative pleasure lies is where true wisdom resides as well; that the rhythms of creative absorption are the true engine of learning.
My dear Albert,
Yesterday I received your dear letter and was very happy with it. I was already afraid you wouldn’t write to me at all anymore. You told me when I was in Zurich, that it is awkward for you when I come to Zurich. Therefore I think it is better if we get together in a different place, where nobody will interfere with our comfort. I will in any case urge that each year we spend a whole month together, so that you see that you have a father who is fond of you and who loves you. You can also learn many good and beautiful things from me, something another cannot as easily offer you. What I have achieved through such a lot of strenuous work shall not only be there for strangers but especially for my own boys. These days I have completed one of the most beautiful works of my life, when you are bigger, I will tell you about it.
I am very pleased that you find joy with the piano. This and carpentry are in my opinion for your age the best pursuits, better even than school. Because those are things which fit a young person such as you very well. Mainly play the things on the piano which please you, even if the teacher does not assign those. That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes. I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal. . .
Be with Tete kissed by your
Regards to Mama.
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