Monday, March 20, 2006
Albert Einstein's name has become synonymous with genius. Einstein didn't drive a car, so he had a chauffer to take him from place to place. Once while on a lecture tour speaking about his theory of relativity, Einstein's chauffer said: "Dr. Einstein, I've heard your lecture on relativity so often now, I believe I could give it myself." "Well, why don't you do it," said the brilliant scientist. "The people at the next university have never seen me and they won't know who I am. You put on my clothes and I'll wear your uniform and cap. You introduce me as your chauffer and I'll introduce you as Dr. Einstein."
Everything went according to plan. The chauffer delivered the speech flawlessly. Einstein was sitting in the back of the lecture hall, enjoying it immensely. Then, something happened neither the chauffer nor Einstein had expected. With some time left to spare, a question-and-answer period was allowed that precipitated a complicated, technical question from a mathematics professor that involved mathematical formulas the chauffer couldn't possibly understand. Lacking the intellectual knowledge to get out of the jam, the chauffer, nonetheless, responded with considerable practical wisdom, saying: "Sir, the answer to your question is so simple I can't believe you asked me to answer it. Anybody can answer that question. And to prove my point, I'm going to have my chauffer come up and address it for you!"