Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Albert Einstein was one of the brightest scientists in the 20th century. He came up with the theory of relativity and eventually won a Nobel peace prize. So who would have thought that a simple one-sentence note to a bellhop who carried his suitcase would fetch over a million dollars at auction. Was it some kind of scientific formula? No, it was simple advice that said "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness." Einstein wrote the note because he didn't have any cash to tip the bellhop but he told them it would be more valuable than a few dollars. He was right. The brief message fetched $1.3 million at auction. Einstein's gesture was noble, but the wisdom he shared with the young man was priceless.