Einstein Tipped A Bellboy With Notes On How To Lead A Happy Life – They Were Sold For $1.8M
Albert Einstein is regarded as one of the most physicists that has ever lived. Back in 1922, he was 43 years old and sometime during that year, he was touring Japan as part of a lecture series, and for which he was paid 2,000 pounds by his Japanese publisher. On his way there, however, he was greeted with the news that he won the Nobel Prize in physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” News of this achievement travelled fast around the world and by the time he landed in Japan, crowds of thousands of people gathered to see the man himself.
One night, while he was in Japan and tired from all the constant publicity, Einstein was gathering his thought in his Imperial Hotel room in Tokyo. A messenger suddenly knocked at his door with a delivery. Now, the story goes that either the bellboy refused to accept a tip, in line with local practice, or Einstein had no small change available.” Whatever the case may be, Einstein offered him two notes on which he scribbled some of his own words of wisdom on how to live a happy life.
Those two exact notes were recently sold for $1.8 million at a Jerusalem auction house.
The first note says as follows: “a quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.” The auction for it started at $2,000 and was expected to land somewhere around $8,000. But not 20 minutes into the auction and two potential buyers escalated its price to a whopping $1.56 million. The second note contained the familiar aphorism:“where there’s a will, there’s a way.” This one, on the other hand, sold only at a modest $240,000.
Both the buyers and sellers have chosen to keep their identity a secret, but according to the AFP, the previous owner of the notes lives in Hamburg, Germany and is a relative of that Japanese bellboy.
Now, even though the two notes are short, they, nevertheless, open a window for us to maybe peek into the way Einstein was looking at life. The second note can clearly be attributed to his own early life when he was but a simple patent clerk. The first note, on the other hand, showed that he didn’t allow fame to get the better of him and divert him from his goals and passion. Even after he became famous, and up until the end of his life, Einstein never left that fame cloud his judgement or interests.
“What we’re doing here is painting the portrait of Einstein—the man, the scientist, his effect on the world—through his writings,” said Roni Grosz, the archivist in charge of the world’s largest Einstein collection at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, in a press release.
“This is a stone in the mosaic.”