A letter from famed physicist Albert Einstein imploring students to learn, think, and “be larks” was recently found in a safe at Anchieta College in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 64 years after it was first sent.
The brief note, in German, reads:
“Those who learn the joy of understanding have gained an unfailing friend for life. The mind is for people, what flying is to birds. Don’t follow the example of a chicken when you can be a lark.”
The letter was written in 1951 and was accompanied by a picture of Einstein by photographer Marcel Sternberger.
The college said the document likely came from a priest Gaspar Dutra who met with Einstein in New York and asked that he send a special message to the students of the college.
“It’s a message that motivates not only our students, but parents, teachers, because it encourages the promotion knowledge as an important step in changing realities,” said Dario Schneider the coordinator of the teaching unit at the college.
Graphologist Liane Pereira vouched for the letter’s authenticity after analyzing Einstein’s signatures with other documents, the college said.