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Who said: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”
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Whispers of Wisdom

Thoughts for Grandparents’ Day
(First Sunday of September after Labor Day

Image of Indian grandparents showing grandson plants in pots on a table with an antiquated telescope in a window alcove

Once in a tranquil village nestled between towering mountains and dense forests, there lived a young child named Ravi. Ravi was a curious child, always in awe of the enigmatic beauty that encompassed his village. His grandparents, Meera and Vijay, were the keepers of ancient wisdom, nurturing Ravi with tales steeped in science and folklore.

Meera and Vijay were no ordinary grandparents. Meera was a botanist who found poetry in the anatomy of plants, while Vijay was an amateur astronomer, constantly charting the sky and imparting his knowledge to anyone who would listen. The couple lived in a modest house adorned with antiquated telescopes and botanical illustrations that showcased a seamless marriage of art and science. Ravi found immense comfort in the embracing aroma of old books and the warm glow of the night sky seeping through the open windows.

As a child, Ravi was an avid listener to the stories narrated by his grandparents, stories that embroidered science with threads of magic and mystery. His grandmother, Meera, would weave tales where plants could communicate and share secrets with those who knew how to listen. Through her, Ravi learned to observe the intricate details of flora and fauna, understanding the delicate balance that governed the natural world.

Vijay, on the other hand, would cradle Ravi in his lap on clear nights, pointing out constellations and narrating legends of celestial beings. Together, they would dream of visiting distant worlds, where the rivers flowed with liquid gold and the trees bore gem-like fruits. It was during these starry nights that Ravi developed a deep-seated fascination with the universe and its grandiose mysteries.

As Ravi grew, so did his curiosity and thirst for knowledge. He spent his afternoons experimenting with plants, concocting herbal mixtures under the guidance of Meera, and his nights were reserved for stargazing with Vijay. Ravi’s grandparents nurtured his young mind, fostering a symbiotic relationship between him and the world of science.

Time meandered like a lazy river, and soon it was time for Ravi to choose a career path. The choices seemed endless and overwhelming, yet amidst the cacophony of expectations and aspirations, Ravi found clarity in the whispers of his grandparents, resonating deeply within his soul.

Drawing from the profound connection he had developed with nature and the cosmos, Ravi embarked on a journey to become a scientist. He chose a path that allowed him to explore the realms of both botany and astronomy, intertwining the knowledge imparted by his grandparents in a harmonious blend of science and spirituality.

Ravi ventured to the city to pursue his studies, where he dazzled his professors with his holistic approach to science. His research papers reflected a beautiful synthesis of tradition and modernity, echoing the wisdom that had been nurtured in him by Meera and Vijay.

As Ravi’s reputation grew, so did his influence. His unique perspective resonated with people around the world, igniting a movement that saw a resurgence in the appreciation of ancient wisdom and the integration of it into modern science.

As years flowed by, Ravi transformed into a renowned scientist, a beacon of wisdom and innovation. His journey was a testament to the power of nurturing and guidance, showcasing the remarkable influence his grandparents had on shaping his destiny.

In the golden years of his career, Ravi returned to his tranquil village, building a research center where tradition met innovation. The center was a haven, where scientists and scholars from around the world congregated to learn and explore the realms of science, guided by the rich legacy of knowledge that Meera and Vijay had entrusted to Ravi.


Image of Indian grandparents book to grandson illustrated by plants in pots on a table at home

Ravi is a fictional character created by ChatGTP, which commented that “The story illustrates how the influence of grandparents, their wisdom and their connection to nature and science, can shape and nurture a child’s curiosity and guide them towards a fulfilling and innovative career in the scientific field. It is a work of fiction woven with elements of fantasy, folklore, and science to depict the enriching influence grandparents can have on their grandchildren’s lives and career choices.” It was generated for the prompt: “Write a story about how grandparents influenced the career choice of scientists”.


Note: The text created by Artificial Intelligence from a bare prompt shows an innovative flair, which is noteworthy in itself for this article. Images also by AI.

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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by Ian Ellis
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