I was passionate about physics in high school. I abandoned science in my first undergradutate year, but that early love for physics remains. Albert Einstein was and still is my favourite scientific thinker. I had the mighty fortune of reading his most celebrated autobiography in my sophomore year at the Benue State University. Do you know that Einstein, that majestic intellect was an amateur poet? He was such indeed. But he avoided novels. He read philosophy avidly, like most scientists of genius, and confessed that the thought of Scottish philosopher David Hume helped him unravel the theory of relativity. Hume wrote his greatest work aged just 26! Take note. Einstein himself solved the problem of relativity and published his groundbreaking papers at 25, matching and completing Isaac Newton.
Einstein was not outstanding at the techical polytechnic (university), like Hegel (the man whose ideas Karl Marx plagiarized so shamelessly). His incisive and passionate mind was too creative to fit into the formal regime of the school system. He married an Eastern European girl, a classmate, against the wish of his family. The girl was plain and not physically strong. Asked what a handsome genius with the world at his feet found in such an ordinary girl, the highly mischievous Einstein quipped: ‘Oh, she has a pretty voice!’ Incurable idealist! It was a sad union. Women love successful men. Einstein attracted women as sugar attract the workaholic red ants. He was not very rich, and never cared about money (a strange Jew?), but he was a genius of the highest order and a great looker. The poor girl was jealous. They divorced eventually and Einstein married a cousin, a pretty lively lady. Cousins marry over there (don’t go running after your cousin o!). He treated the woman badly, I think. She died unhappily and in need after having two sons for Einstein. One son developed mental problems and died in a mental home, his famous dad visiting him just a few times over many years. Einstein’s excuse was that he could not bear the agony of facing suffering. Really? More like irresponsibility. His other son, closer to his mom than Einstein, defied the great man and married a lady with a genetic disease. Love! Einstein lamented his son’s defiance. I was moved. Jewish sons are supposed to revere their daddies. When the end came (even genius must pass away) Einstein rejected surgery that would give him borrowed time. Time to face the grim reaper. Scientists removed his brain and studied it. It was mere flesh. The extraordinary mind the brain communed with was nowhere to be seen.
I count him among the three finest intellects of all time because of the warmth of his exceptional mind. Kant and Tolstoy possessed such minds too. A noble intelligence. He is gone, but his legacies live on. It is as if he is still alive. His is a long goodbye, maybe the longest in history. He treated his first wife badly, but then heart matters go wrong easily. He was truly a compassionate and humble man. In honouring white thinkers here, I do not look down on Africa. I have lamented our refusal to move forward forcefully. I give credit wherever I find merit. I am almost brutally frank. I await our black awakening, our age of reason, a moral rearmament, a spiritual regeneration and an intellectual rebirth.
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Whatever it is you do, always put in your best and of course, don’t rest 😉 … Best wishes, S’
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