Dear Mahatma Gandhi,
How are you? Hope you are fine. This is the first time I am writing a letter to you. I don’t know why I am writing a letter to you.
But for some reason you came in my mind, when I came across some quotes today of Albert Einstein, the celebrated German physicist. Let me share with you some of these quotes of Einstein that I liked and why I liked them.
–> 1. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
I like this quote as it forces a person to get rid of all complexities in his thought and expression. This ensures that the explanation that is then offered is easily understood. In other words, you can explain in a simple way only, when you understand it best.
–> 2. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”
Just think for a minute sitting quietly somewhere. Isn’t our conditioning and environment mostly about finding answers to two questions: What do I get out of it? When do I get it? It would be nice to see the day when we start placing value on a person not on what he is able to ‘get’ from others, but on what he is able to ‘give’ to others.
–> 3. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
You know that you have to keep moving ahead and improve yourself in some way or the other regularly. What happens if you don’t improve yourself? Well, then you start getting imbalanced in life, by disappointment, anger, irritation, frustration and all the other negative emotions. Life and its living pressures will make you fall down, if you are not pedaling your cycle of life.
–> 4. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”
You learn so many things in school about so many different subjects. But, you don’t just learn about your subjects in school. You also learn how to behave in social situations with friends, classmates and teachers and how those social situations affect your emotions and behaviour. This kind of learning is much more important than the formal learning that you get in a school and this is Education in the truest sense.
–> 5. “Life isn’t worth living unless it is lived for someone else.”
This is a fact that not many of us understand. After all, right since birth, it has been about you. Your life revolves around you and you think about yourself 95% of the time. You haven’t been encouraged to think a lot about others. So, unless you start thinking more about others and give more of your mind-space to others, you won’t understand how much more satisfying and peaceful that kind of living is.
–> 6. “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.”
So, you have a lot of information about the subjects you study. You get A+ grade in school and college and are among the toppers in your field of study. So, this means you are very intelligent. Are you sure? Then what about those school drop-outs who were just average in their subjects and yet became these legends in society that we keep hearing about. Probably, they were the dreamers, the visionaries who saw things not as they are, but as they can be. They used their imagination to power their sustained action.
–> 7. “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
How do you gain knowledge? By reading a lot of books, you might say. But then what about the oft-stated ‘experience’. When do you get experience? You get it by going beyond books and standing on the field and making mistakes and learning. This process gives you knowledge that is purest in its form.
–> 8. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Whenever you have faced any problem, what has been your first reaction? You were seriously tempted to leave that problem, considering it ‘very difficult’ or even ‘impossible’ to solve. Some of you tried to give more time in finding a solution to the problem. But you couldn’t find it and you stopped. But then maybe there was one among you who kept thinking about the problem, trying different ways and means to solve it and often failing and making a lot of mistakes in the process. Ultimately the day came and he found the right solution to the problem. Then what did you call him? Genius 🙂
–> 9. “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
Every person can be successful in so many different ways. Each person has his own definition of success. But not each person knows or understands what it is to be a man of value. You may not be providing much value to people in general and yet be successful. But then, if you can provide value to people and it helps them lead a better life in some way, then you become a man of value, not just a man of success.
Dear Mahatma Gandhi,
I just shared these thoughts with you for some reason I am yet to understand.