It has been more than a hundred years since the genius Albert Einstein jolted the world of physics, reinventing our scientific perception of time and space with his revolutionary theory of relativity. While Einstein may be globally renown for his intellectual ferocity and outstanding capacity to think kilometers outside the box, he remains a man, who, behind the fame, knows the simple basis of true happiness. This secret, which he documented in a handwritten tip to a bellboy back in 1922 in Japan, has been auctioned in Jerusalem for an amazing $1.5 million.
Far back in 1922, Einstein was in Tokyo to give a lecture. Lodged in the Imperial Hotel, Einstein had just ascended universal spotlight in clinching the Nobel Prize. Rightly, the world was reverberating with Einstein’s name at that moment and the media sought his pictures to sell their papers.
The young bellboy had delivered a message to Einstein at the hotel but upon dipping his hands into his pocket to give the young lad a tip, Einstein realized he had nothing financial (on the immediate) to give. Thus, Einstein scribbled on a piece of hotel stationery the secret to a happy and fulfilled life. And what do you think it was? E=mc2?
Not at all. It was the simplest of wisdom that we all too often forget in an unendingly consumerist culture:
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
For a man like Einstein who had conquered the world with his beaming successes to still recognize modesty and calmness as the undoubted route to true happiness is inspiring. Einstein even went the prophetic route by predicting to the boy that with a bit of luck, the note may at some time have some commercial value. And true to Einstein words, the note is now a fortune, as when auctioned at the Winner’s Auctions and Exhibition, located in Jerusalem, the note sold off at a whopping $1.56 million. Now, it would seem, that Einstein has a new posthumous achievement: prophet.
A representative of Winner’s Auctions and Exhibition, Meni Chadad said that the auction house was contacted by the grandson of the bellboy’s brother some time ago. The auction house went on to carry out an intense verification process of the tips. According to Werner, the $1.5million auction far transcended the scopes of their imagination as they were anticipating something less than $10,000 for the note.
“It was an all-time record for an auction of a document in Israel, and it was just wow, wow, wow,” Chadad marveled. “I think the value can be explained by the fact that the story behind the tip is so uplifting and inspiring, and because Einstein continues to be a global rock star long after his death.”