We Are All Students In Dr Einstein’s Class Of 2021!

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July 22, 2021

There is a story about Einstein, that he handed over the previous year's question paper to his students. Imagine students' perplexed expression in the examination hall. Because generally students ignore the last year's questions, thinking these won't be repeated.

And when the students pointed this, Einstein gave them the finest answer one can expect from geniuses like him:

Answers have changed this year!

In these pandemic times, I feel we are all students in Dr Einstein's class. Though Covid-19 has 19 in it, it started impacting us in 2020. We all thought it will pass soon, after a few month of lockdown. That proved to be wishful thinking.

Now we are in 2021. Halfway through it. With more than a year of pandemic behind us. And While the question paper of life remains the same, our answers have changed dramatically.

Beginning of 2020, we all were busy creating our yearly plans, growing market shares, expanding our offices, conquering the world in our own way.

Before the pandemic, we struggled to make time for the family. When our spouses asked us, 'Don't you have time for the family and the kids?' We shrugged our shoulders. And we could justify it in hundred different ways. But the answer has changed upside down. Now we know how important it is to have a family. And we cherish being with them so much, many of us are denying going back to offices.

In this last year, people have reflected on life and its meaning. We changed priorities, appreciated many of the traditions in our culture. And became health conscious, started pursuing our hobbies. 

We have lost friends and someone or the other in our extended families. We now know the meaning of silent fear, how it creeps in our life and influences all our decisions--where we go, what we eat, whom we meet. 

Now we know, money isn't everything. That, it can't save you. That, money won't buy you assistance from people when you need it. 

Now we know we aren't here on the planet forever. And we realise that we can't take good things in life for granted. A deep breath in the open air without mask is what everyone is praying for. 

Broken Myths. The biggest change I see in people around me is the broken myth of invincibility. That we human beings are so advanced in technology that we can win over any crisis, that we have a solution for all problems. 

Earlier when I used to read about past pandemics I thought it couldn't happen again. I felt the world was far too progressed, that with modern aviation and the medical science, and internet connectivity the world will win over such crisis effectively. Quickly.

NO. That was a myth. 

Now we know we are not the invincible kings and queens of this planet. We are just another species. 

But in our vulnerability we also discovered goodness of people around us. We saw strangers extending their helping hands. We saw unexpected heroes. 

In fact, our whole sense of who is a hero changed dramatically. Isn't it?

I can go on and on.

But I would like to learn a few things from you.

What you learnt in 'Dr Einstein's class'?

What answers changed for you?


There is a story about Einstein, that he handed over the previous year's question paper to his students. In these pandemic times, I feel we are all students in Dr Einstein's class. 

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About the author 

Puneet Bhatnagar

Puneet Bhatnagar, popularly known as Creative Punito--is a business innovator. An expert on SME business growth. He is a well-known creativity and innovation trainer, author, columnist and storyteller.

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