I just returned from Germany, where Albert Einstein was born. As I walked through the streets of Berlin-a lovely cosmopolitan city that shows no sign of the past, only the future-Albert was on my mind.
Why would Albert Einstein be on my mind in a city blessed with beautiful parks, electric restaurants and dazzling women? Because all of my life I have been in search of life on earth. Not the kind that proves it is alive because it is breathing. No, that’s hardly a test of anything. I mean the kind that is a life force. The kind that sees a high wire and wants to walk across it because it is NOT safe. The kind that imagines that massive change is possible and does more than knows it, but goes out and turns the wheel, knowing the odds against them are nearly impossible. The kind that gives love with every bit of their hearts without an ounce of fear that the love won’t be returned.
Einstein was always a life force. It just took four decades of his existence for the rest of the planet to know that. And related to this, his greatest achievement may have been that he proved it is never too late to rise from obscurity and soar into the Pantheon of true greatness.
Ironically, all of the time Albert was viewed as just another civil servant on the government payroll. He was paying zero attention to what anyone else thought. He was thinking, dreaming, testing, wondering, rejecting, rethinking-taking the puzzle of the universe and remaking it. Einstein always believed in Einstein. Do you believe in you?
When I was a child, Jonas Salk came out of left field and obliterated polio. A life force took on and defeated a life destroyer. He wasn’t a Roosevelt. No one expected much from him. But the children of the world were blessed by a man who gave them the most precious gift we can have: Life.
Like Einstein, Salk was a life force in disguise. As was Martin Luther King, Marie Curie, my third grade social studies teacher, Billy Graham, Jesus, Moses, and Henry David Thoreau.
So yes, there is life in the universe. But we owe God’s universe more than life. We owe it courage. More of that innovation. More than that, the willingness to take the gift of existence and give it depth. Give it meaning. Live up to its promise.
Not in headline ways alone. In ways only you see. Only you understand. Only you are fulfilled by. If others gain the vision, wonderful, but you don’t need them. Live your life without their approval.
Einstein would have been sublime without his Wikipedia page! Greatness is quiet until the world discovers it. And it