Richard Feynman: The Man Who Only Used His Intellect to Enjoy Life

Ali
19 min readJun 9, 2023
Richard Feynman | Source: Caltech Digital Collections

It was a decade ago that I met Richard Feynman when I happened to be casually spending some time at a library. My reason for being there was to peacefully watch the rain behind the comfort of one of the library windows. The library was indeed a perfect location for this purpose of mine, and as the rain began to subside, my eyes wandered over the book which I had selected purely for the sake of its beautiful cover and title. As I quickly skimmed over its pages, I noticed a particularly interesting sentence at the bottom of one page: “I have to understand the world, you see.”

That was a rare moment where I found myself saying “aha” as I was ecstatic with this remarkable discovery. In my excitement, I had wished to order a round of tea for all of the patrons of the library and endlessly speak to them about the book which I held in my hands and its author, Richard Feynman.

“I have to understand the world, you see.” Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!, p.231

I, unfortunately, met Richard Feynman later than I would’ve liked, as no one had mentioned him to me until that point. That is why I wished to close this metaphorical gap by reading all of his works that I could get my hands on, as well as watching all documentaries pertaining to him and interviews with him. I wanted to see the world through his eyes.

Even today, whenever my life’s joy takes a slight dip, I turn back and take yet another look at Feynman’s comments on life in order to regain my felicity. Yes, it’s his ability to put the utmost passion, zeal, and excitement into mentioning even the simplest things in life which revive me, probably since emotions are contagious.

Feynman had the rare and unique ability to take a very different look at seemingly even the most basic of things, such as, at times, the hundreds or thousands of flowers we pass by on the road. As an example of this, during a joint interview with one of his friends who is an artist on the BBC program titled “Horizon,” it is possible to look at his comments and really understand his perspective:

“I have a friend who’s an artist that has sometimes taken a view of which I don’t agree with very well. He’ll hold…

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Ali

Math Teacher. Content Curator. Soccer player. Maradona fan. Mostly write about the lectures I love to learn better. alikayaspor@gmail.com