Einstein: Is the world a Loving or hostile one?

  1. It is said that once, during a press conference, a reporter asked Albert Einstein this:

    "What is the most important question as a man you have ever had to answer?"

    Einstein paused and said "The most important question is the one each man utimately has to answer for himself. Is it a hostile world or a loving one?"

    What a profound thought from a man who unlocked the secret of nuclear power.

    As nurses who deal with all levels of humanity and see both the good and bad in people, how do you answer? Why?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   bluesky
    At times both. At times neither (vive l'indifference).
  4. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from Justmeandmycat
    It is said that once, during a press conference, a reporter asked Albert Einstein this:

    "What is the most important question as a man you have ever had to answer?"

    Einstein paused and said "The most important question is the one each man utimately has to answer for himself. Is it a hostile world or a loving one?"

    What a profound thought from a man who unlocked the secret of nuclear power.

    As nurses who deal with all levels of humanity and see both the good and bad in people, how do you answer? Why?
    Hostile world, people are basically good.

    Hard to explain.

    (How is this a general nursing topic?)
  5. by   Thunderwolf
    No wonder the man was a genius.
  6. by   VivaLasViejas
    Neither. I think it all boils down to one's individual perception of the world: in other words, is the glass half-full, or half-empty?
  7. by   Roy Fokker
    actually, i would venture forth this theory of how this question lies at the root of two political idealogies - conservativism and liberalism.

    conservatives believe that the other man can't essentially be trusted. that evil lies in us all. therefore the greater emphasis is place on protecting the self and individual.

    liberals believe that essentially the other man is good. that we are all part of one big family. hence the emphasis on community oriented projects rather than individual.

    ofcourse, i could be wrong. :imbar

    for questions like these, i often refer to one of my most favourite little stories:
    [color=#009966]
    [color=#009966]a grandfather from the cherokee nation was talking with his grandson.
    [color=#cc6666]"a fight is going on inside me,"[color=#009966] he said to the boy.

    [color=#cc6666]"it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves."

    [color=#cc6666]"one wolf is evil and ugly: he is anger, envy, war, greed, self-pity, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, selfishness and arrogance."

    [color=#cc6666]"the other wolf is beautiful and good: he is friendly, joyful, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, justice, fairness, empathy, generosity, true, compassion, gratitude, and deep vision."

    [color=#cc6666]"this same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other human as well."

    [color=#009966]the grandson paused in deep reflection because of what his grandfather had just said. then he finally cried out; [color=#cc6666]"grandfather, which wolf will win?"

    [color=#009966]the elder cherokee replied,[color=#cc6666] "the wolf that you feed."
    now i don't know if this story is an authentic indian legend or not, but i do know that this is a very appealing story and essentially settles the question.
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    I love your story, Roy........it does give one some food for thought.
  9. by   live4today
    quote:
    [color=#009966]a grandfather from the cherokee nation was talking with his grandson.
    [color=#cc6666]"a fight is going on inside me,"[color=#009966] he said to the boy.

    [color=#cc6666]"it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves."

    [color=#cc6666]"one wolf is evil and ugly: he is anger, envy, war, greed, self-pity, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, selfishness and arrogance."

    [color=#cc6666]"the other wolf is beautiful and good: he is friendly, joyful, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, justice, fairness, empathy, generosity, true, compassion, gratitude, and deep vision."

    [color=#cc6666]"this same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other human as well."

    [color=#009966]the grandson paused in deep reflection because of what his grandfather had just said. then he finally cried out; [color=#cc6666]"grandfather, which wolf will win?"

    [color=#009966]the elder cherokee replied,[color=#cc6666] "the wolf that you feed."



    roy, for me as a christian, "the wolf" that does bad is satan,and "the wolf" that does good is jesus christ. "the wolf" that has already won is jesus christ.
  10. by   Tweety
    The "world" is what it is. Nature is nature.

    The relatively few hostile humans make it a rough world for the rest of us. Humans in general are loving creatures.
  11. by   Kiwi
    I believe that human nature is inherently good, and that we have a free will to mold the world as we please. It is human will that can be cruel.
    Last edit by Kiwi on Jan 10, '05
  12. by   leslie :-D
    i think humans individually are inherently good.

    i think the communities, governments, media and whatever other group entity that wants for things that would be deemed greedy, hateful, spiteful and deceitful can make for a hostile place to exist.
  13. by   lil' girl
    Depends on what the definition of "world" is. I don't think the world is hostile. God made the world for us to live in and provided for us. Man is what made things hostile, the never ending fight to be better and have more than the next person. Of course this is only a very few. Most people are wonderful loving creatures. A person's perception of others of course counts for so much. Some people would view the world and others as hostile even if you handed them everything on a golden platter. Then there are others that are happy with just the simple pleasures.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    A Grandfather from the Cherokee Nation was talking with his grandson.
    "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

    "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves."

    "One wolf is evil and ugly: He is anger, envy, war, greed, self-pity, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, selfishness and arrogance."

    "The other wolf is beautiful and good: He is friendly, joyful, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, justice, fairness, empathy, generosity, true, compassion, gratitude, and deep VISION."

    "This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other human as well."

    The grandson paused in deep reflection because of what his grandfather had just said. Then he finally cried out; "Grandfather, which wolf will win?"

    The elder Cherokee replied, "The wolf that you feed."
    ************************************************** *

    I've read this before - and it is true. But it counters your thoughts that liberals see people as good and conservatives think evil lies in all of us.

    Your parable says that evil and good lie in each of us and the one that thrives is the one that is fed.

    I'm conservative and believe the parable.

    steph

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