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  • Heather Mistretta

Happy Birthday, Mr. Einstein...a champion of us, right-brainers

Not all of us can be Albert Einstein...said Captain Obvious. We often think of Einstein as just a math whiz who stunned his peers with E=MC2 and marveled many with his study of nuclear physics and the theory of relativity, but the German-born theoretical physicist who was born 143 years ago today was so much more than that. He was a genius we should all aspire to be, or at least a little more like, who managed to orchestrate both sides of his brain to work in concert with one another.

The result, you ask...a beautiful, near-perfect blend of imaginative insight and analytical forethought. When he wasn't computing formulas and solving equations, he was contemplating life, playing the violin and fighting for civil rights as a member of the NAACP.

Einstein was once quoted as saying, "If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music... I get most joy in life out of music."

In spite of all that we have learned from the son of a salesman and engineer, Einstein strongly believed that imagination was more important than knowledge.

Enter right brain vs left brain. Those synapses that seemed to work as well as an extraordinarily-crafted opus in Einstein's brain can fall short in the brains of others. I, for one, am guilty of that. As one who has struggled through calculus and faltered at reading a map, let me just say I can empathize with you right-brainers.

This seamless coexistence of both sides of the brain working in tandem with one another is something not all of us can brag about. For us right-brained dominant souls, tackling an analytical problem or brushing up on our perceptual skills can be a torture. We'd rather doodle on our math books than hunker down to solve an algebraic equation.

But rest assured, that doesn't mean all doom and gloom. After all, the right brain is the more intuitive side that can nimbly jump from one subject to another, can often recall a face much quicker, master an essay exam and dive unabashedly into a new endeavor.

Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Virginia Woolf, Benjamin Franklin, Frida Kahlo, Thomas Edison, Jane Austen and of course, Aristotle are just a few good examples.

So in honor of the immortal words of Einstein, "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift," I challenge all of you right side-dominant minds to embrace your right side, relish your gifts and resist the urge to apologize for a lacking on the left side. Channeled the right way, we can become a force to be reckoned with. Happy Birthday and thank you, Mr. Einstein!

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