I was truly saddened by the news this morning when I found out that Stephen Hawking, The University of Cambridge professor passed away early Wednesday at the age of 76.
I’m not a theoretical physicist, nor do I have a degree in the hard sciences. But that didn’t stop me from admiring Hawking for most of my life. His books, lectures, and unpredictable media appearances all made me pay special attention to how he saw the world.
Stephen Hawking is more than just a theoretical physicist with an Oscar-winning movie out about him. He has contributed not only to the world of science but also to those looking to learn a little more about life. Throughout his career, Hawking has helped us better understand the planet, and at the same time, ourselves.
Dr. Hawking, who was diagnosed with ALS in 1963 at the age of 21, was only given two years to live. Patients with ALS typically die within five years of diagnosis, is believed to have been the longest-living survivor, a fact that still perplexes neurologists.
Nevertheless, he continued to work and produced widely influential theses and books about the nature of time and space even as his condition deteriorated.
Stephen Hawking taught us that despite the circumstances nothing is impossible, and you can do anything you put your mind to.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”
“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning, and purpose and life are empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”
“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.”
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
“We are all different, but we share the same human spirit. Perhaps it’s human nature that we adapt and survive.”
“I have so much that I want to do. I hate wasting time.”
Stephen’s illness has made him a wonderful example, almost a hero, of how humans can overcome the worse physical conditions. It is in this, in my opinion, that he is truly great. Hawking, though brilliant and successful, still had dreams like everyone else. His longing to do things he might never be able to do shows how he’s just like the rest of us.
We’re all human at the end of the day, and as humans, we can only do so much that our minds and bodies will let us. Hawking did not have the super strength or the ability to fly like Superman, but he had intelligence far greater than any comic book superhero. Hawking has conquered countless barriers and continued to impress the world. Hawking continued to endure his degenerative disease and even through it all, he accomplished so much.
He serves as a prime example of never giving up.
If you haven’t seen this movie yet The Theory of Everything, then you should watch it. You’ll end up learning a lot of things on your own.
Have you ever thought we have all our body parts working properly and still what we do? We keep complaining unnecessarily rather than focusing on things we already have. Honestly, I learned a lot from this movie that you can achieve anything I repeat ANYTHING with undying spirit and unstoppable faith. I cried a lot while watching this feeling guilty of constantly complaining and crying over the small things. Every once in a while, you might find yourself trying to give up, but Hawking shows that setting your mind to a goal and going for it is what being human is all about.
Stephen Hawking had a great sense of humor, I always admired that about him. Humor sense is a must. Even for serious people.
“The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognized. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away.”
Stephen Hawking: [grinning] I was stopped recently by a tourist at Cambridge who asked if I was the real Stephen Hawking. I replied I was not, and said the real one was much better looking.
Someone else in his condition would have given up all the fun in their life just to make others to acknowledge them as a challenged, hard working person. But Stephen Hawking became funnier (and sarcastic) person than he was normal before.
Today we lost one of the greatest minds to have ever lived, but his legacy and his work will live forever. He taught me that despite the circumstances, and how bad life gets, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. NEVER GIVE UP.
While there’s life, there is hope.