Stephen Hawking, well known for his work in theoretical physics, is one of the greatest minds of our time.
When he was a child, Stephen wanted to study mathematics, but as soon as he began college, he studied Natural Sciences.
He was quite normal back then, but during his first year in Cambridge at the age of 21, Hawking began to have symptoms of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). With his condition and diagnosis, doctors gave him two and a half years to live.
However, even today at the age of 74, he is still able to teach, research, and provide the world with beautiful messages.
He says that when he was given the ALS diagnosis, his expectations were reduced to zero and since then, every aspect of his life has been a bonus.
Stephen did not allow the changes to stop him. He cannot speak or move and most of his life he’s been bounded to a wheelchair. Yet, he continued studying and has twelve honorary degrees.
His whole life is dedicated to finding answers about the Big Bang, the universe, creation and scientific theories and still founds a way to inspire and encourage us to find the mysticism in the stars, to find meaning in this world.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away”- he says.
Hawking compared black holes to depression on a lecture that he had in January at the Royal Institute in London, thus making it clear that neither the black holes or depression are impossible to escape.
At the lecture he said: “The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up; there’s a way out.”
When he was asked about his disabilities, Hawking says: “The victim should have the right to end his life, if he wants. But I think it would be a great mistake. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”
He then continued with an inspiring message about disabilities:
“If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well. In my opinion, one should concentrate on activities in which one’s physical disability will not present a serious handicap.
I am afraid that Olympic Games for the disabled do not appeal to me, but it is easy for me to say that because I never liked athletics anyway. On the other hand, science is a very good area for disabled people because it goes on mainly in the mind. Of course, most kinds of experimental work are probably ruled out for most such people, but theoretical work is almost ideal.
My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in.
I have managed, however, only because of the large amount of help I have received from my wife, children, colleagues and students. I find that people in general are very ready to help, but you should encourage them to feel that their efforts to aid you are worthwhile by doing as well as you possibly can.”
Not only he encourages the scientific minds to pay attention, Stephen Hawking also inspires the rest of the world to take notice that there is connection between the stars and each one of us.
Not once in his life did his disabilities stop his curious mind and sense of wonder.
His daughter Lucy, who was also present at the lecture, shared with the crowd: “He has a very enviable wish to keep going and the ability to summon all his reserves, all his energy, all his mental focus and press them all into that goal of keeping going.
But not just to keep going for the purposes of survival, but to transcend this by producing extraordinary work writing books, giving lectures, inspiring other people with neurodegenerative and other disabilities.”