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Confirmed: Einstein was tight


In 1922, Einstein was in Tokyo giving a series of lectures. A courier delivered a message to him in his hotel and Einstein, who didn’t have any local currency in his pocket, took out a piece of hotel stationery and wrote, “Stilles bescheidenes Leben gibt mehr Glueck als erfolgreiches Streben, verbunden mit bestaendiger Unruhe” and gave it to the man in lieu of tip. It means, “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”

Einstein had just won the Nobel and wasn’t super famous yet, so really this is like that one old auntie who gave you a piece of lame advice instead of a birthday present. Particularly as the Japanese man probably couldn’t read it.

Who knew Einstein wrote fortune cookies?

It worked out. Last week, the courier’s nephew sold the autograph for $1.56 million.

Oh, he also gave him a piece of paper that said, “Wo ein Wille ist, da ist auch ein Weg.” (Where there’s a will there’s a way.) Now, that’s just sad.

November 2, 2017 — 10:45 pm
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