Updated: Mar 11
He was one of the world's greatest scientists with an IQ estimated to had been over 160, yet he was a humble man that recognized his human limitations and errors. His realization that calm, the opposite of havoc, and humbleness, the opposite of arrogance, are key to happiness in life is something to deeply consider. Einstein had every reason in the world to be an arrogant man with no respect for those who were "below" him but he never lived this way. In fact, this is not how he lived his life at all. He was well intended, loved life, and had a positive outlook and disposition. He was also honest, even in recognizing that he was imperfect and that he made a big mistake, the one mistake he lived and died with regret over. It shows us that no matter how intelligent a man is, women not being an exception, all humans are capable of making great mistakes and that wisdom is much more powerful than knowledge. But, I believe, just like humans are able of making mistakes they can also become more responsible, can become better people, ultimately can learn to make better decisions. Humans are able to also correct errors and come up with solutions in any occasion.
His words above illustrate his modesty and reasonable way of thinking that was balanced. It is quite admirable to know that a man who could have lived full of arrogance, being he was indeed one of the world's greatest minds, he was humble in admitting that we should be indeed on our guard not to overestimate science and scientific methods when it is a question of human problems. This shows that he had a healthy and balanced thinking, a humble and well intended nature, quite admirable. This is key in life, generally speaking.
Yet, "He never thought of that." How many times have we wronged because we never thought of that other thing, person, or perspective? I think this is an important question which has lurked about in my mind for some time. Being mindful is important in life but so is being honest. But we have to be the ones who think before we react and stir anything into motion. We have to think about the other thing, person, and perspective prior to jumping to conclusions. Einstein was human, too. It was very ok to admit to have made a mistake. It just happened that his one mistake snowballed into another's mistake. It happens, unfortunately, even to the most intelligent or well intended. How it's handled, afterwards, that is where events truly test our very character and intellect, our human spirit and good will.
Rebecca J. Rosen, in an article published in "The Atlantic" eleven years ago, made a great point about the fact that just because someone creates a new form of technology with good intentions in his or her heart, it doesn't mean that negative consequences would not follow should anyone else use that technology in harmful ways. She makes a good point about inventors not being able to control the use of their inventions in society. We want to think that most people will act responsibly and have good intentions in their hearts but we know deep down that this is not the reality. Inventors cannot control how their inventions would be used by others. It is heartbreaking to me to note that the days in which we feel safe seem to become more idealistic than realistic. We have more technological advances than ever before in human history and yet we feel less safe. This means that something evidently isn't working well enough and we need to consider what needs to be changed if we want things to improve going forward, if we want peace to win. Collaboration and good intentions are necessary amongst relationships of any and every kind, but so is respect for life and the planet Earth we should protect - our home. This is not just one person's responsibility but should be our collective effort. I have never heard someone tell me, "I want a miserable life." Not once. We want a good life, economic growth, resources, prosperity, etc. All of us want this, so we all should act in that joint effort to create a world in which we coexist peacefully and successfully. And this relates to policy makers, corporate entities, international organizations, etc., all the way to our relationship with our next door neighbor.
My diary entry is not a letter of discontent with the scientific community, I want to make this very clear. On the contrary, I love science, many scientific innovations have helped advance our development in great ways. However, I want to encourage awareness, caution, collaboration, and responsibility for all of us. While we cannot rationally live with a narrow mindedness that suffocates our progress, we have to live with an accountable mindfulness so that future generations can enjoy progress, fulfillment, and happiness in a safe environment rather than an unstable one. Though we cannot stop all harm on this earth, we are aware of this, we can try to lessen the odds of harm in our world and for our world by being vigilant about decisions in exercising caution and care. And when I say world I don't mean me and a specific group of people, I mean all species on earth. Let's remember that the planet Earth we live on is not a planet that hosts only our own specie, the homo sapiens.
In his biography of Einstein, Walter Isaacson dramatically tells the moment when the scientist first understood the possibility of the bomb: "Sitting at a bare wooden table on the screen porch of the sparsely furnished cottage [on Long Island], [Leo] Szilard explained the process of how an explosive chain reaction could be produced in uranium layered with graphite by the neutrons released from nuclear fission. 'I never though of that!,' Einstein interjected. He asked a few questions, went over the process for fifteen minutes, and then quickly grasped the implications." Later, Einstein came to express deep regret in his letter to Roosevelt. 'Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb,' he said 'I would have never lifted a finger.'" This is in our history's books not fiction. What this says to me is that good intentions are not enough.
One of humanity's greatest challenges is to understand the difference between intent of actions and consequences of actions and that the bridge between the two has to be built carefully. Albert Einstein played no direct role in the creation of the atomic bomb, but he sure realized that his work could be misused by those eager to design it. And when he did, he was nothing but full of remorse claiming he wouldn't have lifted not even a single finger. This speaks volumes. We cannot turn back the clock. We all know this. We cannot erase what was done. But we can try to make this world a better place going forward. And though many would say this is not possible, it would take too much, we don't have the resources, these are just excuses. Focusing on excuses and finger pointing, rather than focusing on solutions, will never get us far. In fact, with this kind of attitude we'd run circles around each other and never see solutions realized. I choose to live with hope for humanity. So I hope many begin to realize the importance of clear focus on solutions, collaboration, and good relations. If a single candle can light up a whole room, I choose to hold onto that hope. Not only do I hold onto hope for humanity but on that hope which tells me that if we were to gather all the candles in the world and light up the world together, for the betterment of our lives and humanity, we'd all have only to benefit from the future to come.
Before I share my poem, I want to say something about why I wrote this diary entry. I love this life. I love earth, the beautiful planet we live on. I love the complex universe we have the privilege to be a part of. I consider humans to be one of the most privileged of species because we can make the most profound sense of our understanding of life, understand abstract concepts, and make decisions not just based on internal biological instinct but also with the help of reason. Yet, I don't consider homo sapiens superior over "the other 8.7 million species on Earth, of which we’ve identified maybe 1.6 million of them." I don't want to live an arrogant life in which I disgrace the other 8.7 million species on Earth because of one specie, my own. I want to respect the other species of the world and I know Darwin would agree with this perspective. I heavily doubt when Darwin said "all living creatures" in the quote below that he excluded homo sapiens out of his theory. When we think of devastation for our planet, we have to mindfully consider that this can affect over 8.7 million species not just us. We cannot arrogantly dismiss the other living species of our planet. This would be a catastrophe. How then can we claim that we have evolved? In which way have we truly evolved? We evolved to consider only our bank accounts and material possessions? We did not control our own birth on Earth or the fact that we were born on Earth and not Pluto. We have a responsibility to protect this planet we live on. If we can love the living creatures of the Earth, naturally and logically, we will respect the planet they each call home. A good perspective leads to nobility, not how much money one has, not what furniture style one possesses, not what car one drives, not what clothes one wears, etc., but rather what kind of a mind and heart one owns. This, yes, I think, does speak about our evolution.
Darwin regretted not reading poetry and listening to music more often in his life. I am sure he would have loved poetry especially since he loved intellectual stimulation, but also music as it has the power to ease our souls. I, personally, address the scientists of our world with love. I want them to continue to discover the mysteries and beauty of our world, mindful that some discoveries are not necessarily good for mankind simply because not everyone knows how to handle or manage such knowledge or discovery. Remember what Einstein said, that he would not have lifted one single finger. This calls for immense responsibility of the scientific community, as well of policy makers, leaders of the world, including ourselves. Ultimately, with love leading, this responsibility would come easier to us all. As a poetess and artist myself, I want to ensure I take time for science as often as I can. I took one year of studies about the brain simply out of the curiosity and interest in this complex subject matter. I think the love affair between science and art will be an everlasting one and in my personal life I will always honor and celebrate this relationship. There is art in science and there is science in art, how beautiful is that! Perhaps, if we made more effort to see how much we share in common instead of planting seeds of hatred, we would and could plant seeds of love that would make a positive shift for us all.
Since Darwin regretted not having read poetry or listened to music, I wish to dedicate the recital of my poem "Light From Within" first and foremost to Darwin himself hoping that he hears me from somewhere far beyond our universe. And considering current events, I believe this poem seems most fitted despite that it was published two years ago. We are, all of us, in this thing called life on Earth together. The sooner we realize this, the better we will all be. This is just my belief. Each of us has to decide on his or her own but I think it makes sense to say that love and unity, not division and hatred, is the answer to our problems.
Light From Within (XIV)
Carmen A. Cisnadean
There is a light
Within each heart
That can turn clouds
In wondrous skies
All of the storms
That claim the earth
Can be turned calm
If we so want.
There is a strength
Within each man
That can turn feuds
In loving tales
All of the anguish
That scars existence
Can be turned peaceful
If we so choose.
There is a force
Within each soul
To fuse a world
One which may paint
The future’s stars
With brilliance strong
If we so aim.
"Light From Within" was published in 2020, in my first book published entitled "A Poetess' First Flight." I believe this poem applies to any day of the year, to any man and woman on our planet, and aims to highlight the power we each have in participating to the betterment of our world. I did not say fix all of the world's issues; I said participate to the betterment of our world. I am just an author and artist, I cannot do more than I can. But you might be a politician, a policy maker, a world leader, a corporate owner, a historian, a scientist, the president, etc., reading this today; thus, your abilities will be different than mine. Every one of us has only so much power, so much we can do. However, I truly believed, as I mentioned before, that...
If a single candle can light up a whole room, I still hold onto hope. Not only do I hold onto hope for humanity but on that hope which tells me that if we were to gather all the candles in the world and light up the world together, for the betterment of our lives and humanity, we'd all have only to benefit from the future to come.
Carmen A Cisnadean
Thank You For Reading
Carmen A. Cisnadean
Author, Artist, Poetess
There are a few additional YouTube videos I welcome you to view if you care about history as well as if you want to learn a bit, in my references section below. I just found those two quite educational. Knowledge makes us more aware, gets us closer to the truth, which really serves our understanding. You don't have to believe me, please don't. You don't have to believe fake news either. Listen to your own common sense, research, study and learn about it. This is our greatest privilege in living in a free world, is to actually seek and learn, gain a better understanding, so we can make better decisions going forward. This is just my belief. You all choose on your own, think on your own, research on your own. But I am a writer in love with knowledge. I want and seek my own understanding. I don't wish to judge anyone because I know that I don't know enough, for one, to make sound judgment of historical events which got us where we are. All I know is that I do want to understand and that we don't have to be stuck on the past like stubborn little children endlessly quarrelling. We need a positive outlook for the future. I share out of the love ultimately for life and humanity for which I pray, because this is what I know how to do best. I don't represent any organization. I only represent myself and share my point of view. Thus, each has responsibility to interpret things on his/her own. This is my personal website I designed myself. What a privilege it is to have the liberty to have one to begin with. In a world where there is indeed plenty of censorship, how beautiful is it that we can live free to even have the ability to express our deepest and most sincere sentiments as poets, artists, scientists, aunts, daughters, sisters, etc. I am not hired by a news or media company. I am simply sharing what I know and what I think. I cannot tell you what an immense privilege and gift this is. Einstein and Darwin would be smiling, because they would have known that this was key freedom of speech and inquiry, this AND love for our humanity and the beautiful planet Earth we call our home.
May Peace And Hope Light Up Our World
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQqthbvYE8M (a historian's perspective)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X7Ng75e5gQ (a journalist's perspective)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSNo2FPQDQw (a journalist's perspective)