Auction of Note by Einstein on Happy Living
Written by Victoria Johnston on 18th February 2018
A note that scientist Albert Einstein gave to a courier in Tokyo, which briefly described his theory on happy living, has surfaced after 95 years and is up for auction in Jerusalem.
It was 1922, and the German-born physicist famous for his theory of relativity, was on a lecture tour in Japan. He had recently been informed that he was to receive the Nobel Prize for physics, so his fame outside of scientific circles was growing.
A Japanese courier arrived at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo to deliver a message to Einstein. The courier either refused to accept a tip, in line with local practice, or Einstein had no small change available. Either way, Einstein did not want the messenger to leave empty-handed, so he wrote him two notes by hand in German, according to the seller, who was a relative of the messenger.
One note, on the stationary of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, states that “a quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.”
The other, on a blank piece of paper, simply reads: “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
It appears that Einstein said to the messenger “Maybe if you’re lucky those notes will become much more valuable than just a regular tip”.