This bookmark the kids picked up at the library has an Einstein quote in Spanish. Translated into English, it means “Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.”
It struck me as strange that Chilean’s gain inspiration from an Einstein quote in Spanish, as I’m quite sure the man didn’t speak Spanish. It reminded me of Julius Caesar’s supposed last words to his friend turned assassin, Brutus, which are popularized by the Latin phrase, “Et tu, Brute?” I recall from middle school that Caesar spoke Greek, and if he did have last words, they probably weren’t in Latin.
Coming back to the Einstein quote, a recognition flashed in my mind. Einstein was born and educated in Germany, and he most likely uttered or penned his most famous quotes in German, not English. Generations in America have been inspired by Einstein quotes, most likely unaware that the words are a translation and not originally written in English.
This realization is about cultural perspective, and it’s small proof of the benefit of the worldliness brought about by living abroad. Coming to Chile and questioning the observances around me here and those back at home has in subtle ways broadened my thinking. I’m hopeful similar broadening is happening for our children, whether they realize it or not.
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