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Monday, March 4, 2013

Albert Einstein

"Don't think about why you question, simply don't stop questioning.  Don't worry about what you can't answer, and don't try to explain what you can't know.  Curiosity is its own reason."

— Albert Einstein
German Theoretical Physicist
1879 - 1955

Do you question the world around you?  Do you ask: why? how? when? where?  Do you challenge the assumptions of others?  Do you challenge your own assumptions?  Do you challenge your beliefs?  Do you question your habits?  Or do you simply accept what was taught you?  Do you accept without question the statements of experts?  Do you question what you read in the newspaper or hear on television?  Are you willing to think differently than those around you?  Do you hang out with people who think like you do?  Or do you surround yourself with people who think differently than you?

There is so much that we don't know.  The more I learn; the less I feel I know.  Are you curious about the world in which you live?  Are you curious about your neighbors?  Your friends?  The physical world?  The world of the mind?  Are you curious about what you do not know?  Have you stopped learning?  Stopped reading?  Stopped growing?

There is a story of a man who was watching his wife cook a pot roast.  She cut off the end of the pot roast before putting it in the pot.  He asked her why?  She said that was what her mother always did.  Since she was curious, she called her mother and asked her why she cut off the end of the pot roast?  Her mother said because her grandmother did.  The woman called her grandmother and asked her why she always cut off the end of the pot roast.  And the grandmother said that she cut off the end because the pot was too small.  What habits have you formed that are based on out-of-date information?  What habits do you need to change?

Creative Practice
This week take a belief, an assumption or a habit that you have held your for most of your life and question it?  Challenge your assumptions. What assumptions have you made about the creative process?  Or creative people?  Painters?  Writers?  Actors?  Find out why you believe what you believe.  Where did the belief come from?  Where did the habit come from?  What makes it valid?  Is it true?  Or is it false?

Albert Einstein was born In Ulm, Germany on March 14, 1879 to Hermann Einstein and Pauline Einstein.  His father was a salesman and an engineer.  The Einsteins were non-observant Jews.  Albert attended a Catholic elementary school for three years.  Einstein built models and mechanical devices and showed a talent for mathematics.  In 1900, Einstein earned a Zurich Polytechnic teaching diploma.  He married Mileva Maric in 1903.  They had two sons born in 1904 and 1910.  They divorced in 1914 and less than 4 months later he married Elsa Lowenthal, his first cousin.  She died in 1936.  Albert and Elsa immigrated to the United States in 1933.  Einstein became a U. S. citizen in 1940.

Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm in 1955.  When he was admitted to the hospital, he refused surgery, saying: "I want to go when I want.  It is tasteless to prolong life artificially.  I have done my share, it is time to go.  I will do it elegantly.  He died the next morning at the age of 76.