This letter written by Albert Einstein to his 11 year old son resonates with me. I really never enjoyed learning the school way. Rote memorization and absorbing dry facts through external pressure was not natural to me.

The only real and exciting learning of facts experience I enjoyed was when a high school student teacher entered the picture. He was enthralled with history and his enthusiasm was infectious. He brought the WWII material to great mental life. Made it real and human. If only all teachers had his enthusiasm and ability.

I enjoyed English classes that involved literature. To the point of reading the entire literature book as soon as I got it, which teachers tended to frown upon. Never quite understood that. Maybe it was just so unfamiliar to have a kid actually love reading that much that it threw them. It does reinforce Einstein’s point.

I was eager to learn from doing what I enjoyed most. I think that’s why I feel my greatest education came from travel, experiencing different cultures, seeing first hand some of the places I’d read about. Walking on London cobblestones and looking up at the unblinking windows of Versailles are entirely different experiences to a person who loves Dickens. They throb and vibrate on a mental frequency that passes through literature and history. To others it’s mere rocks and glass.

So I love Einstein’s thoughts on creativity and the great value of losing yourself in what you love most to do. It’s come to be the way I feel about writing fiction and screenplays. There’s the love for the act of creating something. And there’s also the enjoyment found in forgetting to eat or not wanting to sleep because while you’re doing it, it’s the only thing you want to do.

It’s so cool that Einstein was so brilliant that he lived in the realm of taming space and time, yet he also understood the importance of giving ourselves over to simpler, more earthbound endeavors. And recognizing their great value.

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