Albert Einstein, born March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Württemberg, Germany, is one of the smartest mathematicians in history who also gave us one of the greatest contributions science has ever known (for better or worse). He is typically known for his discoveries of general relativity, which eventually led him to creating the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan during World War II. In 1921, he won the Nobel Prize in physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
What is not commonly known is Albert Einstein had speech delays and trouble with reading when he was younger. His parents were concerned about his late development of speech and memorization. Between the ages of two and three, Einstein would practice saying words in his head before saying them aloud. Later in life, he overcame his speech impediment, particularly through music, and was known as a bright and intelligent student.
Like many of us, Einstein also struggled with taking exams and tests. In his later writings he was quoted as saying, “I would feel under such strain that I felt, rather than going to take a test, that instead, I was walking to the guillotine.” It’s inspiring to know even one of the smartest and most intelligent scientists in the world had difficulty passing exams like we do and still showed perseverance and dedication to his work. In addition, he confided in his teachers that he found learning difficult.
Although Einstein experienced speech delays in his younger years, his brain capacity was 25 percent larger than most people. He was an accomplished violinist and credits a lot of his success to music for helping him solve intricate theories and problems. Many times, he used his violin for inspiration and for organizing his thoughts to gain answers to complex problems.
Einstein’s accomplishments and contributions to science continues to inspire and motivate young talented students across the globe. No matter his struggles or his failings as a student, he dedicated his mind to lifelong learning and growth. Even his teachers reported him asking too many questions. Einstein is the perfect example for teaching us and our children that asking questions is not only ok, but vital to the learning process. These types of personalities become our inventors, our scientists, our mathematicians, and our future. Einstein’s challenges with speech and learning didn’t stop him from achieving success, but rather pushed him to do better and to leave a legacy we all hope to acquire. It is our duty as parents, mentors, and examples, to motivate young minds this same way, regardless of learning challenges or struggles. The one lesson Einstein teaches us is any challenge can be overcome with the right dedication and work ethic.
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