Seed magazine asks: If you only had a single statement to pass onto others summarizing the most vital lesson to be drawn from your work, what would it be?
The question originated from Richard Feynman’s Lectures on Physics, where he asked:
“If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generations of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?”
“… all things are made of atoms—little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.”
Excellent answer. Right? Perhaps the best answer for a physicist.
Seed asked 11 other scientists to answer this question.
Jill Tarter chose to quote Carl Sagan for her answer:
‘We are made of star stuff.’
I like that one quite a bit, too.
I’m not a scientist, but as a novelist, I've been thinking about the most vital lesson that could be drawn from my work.
After much consideration, I have chosen this:
Children are continually encouraged to be themselves. Avoid peer pressure. Be unique. But when they become adults, they are often punished for being different. Those who dare to be different despite this punishment are the ones we should admire most.
But you do not need to be a novelist nor a scientist to play this game. As a teacher, the most vital lesson drawn from my work would be this:
The most important thing that a teacher can do is make a student love school.
As a McDonald’s manager, the most vital lesson drawn from my work was:
Managing a crew of underpaid, highly unskilled workers depends solely on your ability to establish meaningful relationships with your employees. When your employees believe that you are invested in them, they will perform at a high level for you.
As a wedding DJ, my most vital lesson drawn from my work is this:
Music is the least important part of a DJ’s job at a wedding. Managing the wedding by ensuring that problems are handled quickly and appropriately and ensuring that all guests (including the bride and groom) are having fun is the DJ’s primary role.
Now I ask you:
What is the most vital lesson that can be drawn from your work?