Einstein’s talk to a group of school children

Most of us remember Albert Einstein as a giant in physics, but from a collection of his writings, he was also very much interested in education and cultural matters. Below is his talk to a group of children in the 1930s – no long-winded moralising sermon (no one remembers long speeches), just a short, powerful reminder that if we ever discover anything new it is because generations of people before us had set up the foundation for it to happen. The one line closing argument is compelling!

My dear children:

I rejoice to see you before me today, happy youth of a sunny and fortunate land.

Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labour in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common.

If you always keep that in mind you will find a meaning in life and work and acquire the right attitude toward other nations and ages.

About Tsung Fei

A teacher, researcher in the bioinformatics division at the University of Malaya
This entry was posted in Education. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Einstein’s talk to a group of school children

  1. jlkuan says:


    This is the kind of thing that revives one`s desire to learn with stronger boost! Thank you Einstein! Did not expect a sentimental speech coming from him LOL

    • Tsung Fei says:

      Einstein was a “complete” scientist, who cared about education and wrote about cultural issues. This side of him is seldom portrayed though. He was more often a portrayed as an absent-minded physicist who only knows physics and nothing else.

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