He didn’t have change to tip the courier who brought a message to his Tokyo hotel room.
So Albert Einstein wrote him a brief note on hotel stationery, telling him it might be of some value later.
The 1922 message has been called Einstein’s “Theory of Happiness”, and yesterday sold at a Jerusalem auction for a reported $1.5 million.
Translated from the original German text, it reads…
“A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.”
The bidding war quickly escalated, by phone and online, for an item having a pre-auction estimate of $5000 to $8000. The European buyer chose to remain anonymous.
There is no mention of how this Japanese bellboy’s treasure got into the hands of the seller, a Hamburg resident who also remained anonymous.
Note: There was a second handwritten note penned by the Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist which read “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. It is not getting the same attention, nor the same value, as the happiness quote.