“Keep your baby eyes….on….”

In a letter dated 29th September 1947 wishing his friend, Otto Juliusburger, on his 80th birthday, Albert Einstein writes that “People like us….do not grow old.”

Why is this so? Because we “stand forever curious as children before the great puzzle in the midst of which we have been placed.”

We find this idea of seeing with childlike eyes — open, sincere, accepting, questioning, enquiring, and wondering — in a letter written  by the pioneering investigative journalist Lincoln Steffens. 

In this letter (one of the many gems in Dorie Lawson’s “Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children”) to his two-year old son, Pete, Lincoln (then about sixty) observes that, truth be told, “Nobody understands things as they are.”

He writes: “An educated mind is nothing but the God-given mind of a child after his parents’ and his grandparents’ generation have got through molding it.”

“We can’t help teaching you,” Lincoln writes, but cautions that “we are prone to teach you what we know.”

Lincoln then goes on to gift his son (and each of us) these profound words. “Remember we really don’t know anything. Keep your baby eyes (which are the eyes of genius) on….”

In “Camille Saint Saint-Saëns: A Life”, the biography of the legendary organist, composer, and conductor, Brian Rees quotes an observation made of Camille (at a certain point in his music career): “He knows everything, but lacks inexperience.”

Peace 😊

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