World-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking is known for providing us with complex yet invaluable insights into space, time, and the nitty-gritty […]
World-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking is known for providing us with complex yet invaluable insights into space, time, and the nitty-gritty of theoretical physics. However, in a recent talk, the iconic physicist applied his brilliant mind to a more emotional matter.
At a packed lecture theater at the Royal Institution in London, on January 7, 2016, Stephen Hawking had this to say for those dealing with depression:
“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…”
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
As a man who overcame such incredible obstacles and lived such a brave and amazing life, this advice couldn’t come from a better place.
Professor Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963 at the age of 21, when he was given just 2 years to live.
Speaking to the same audience, his daughter Lucy noted Hawking’s incredible mental fitness – both intellectually and emotionally.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Professor Hawking also said he had learnt to appreciate what he had.
“Although it was unfortunate to get motor neurone disease, I have been very fortunate in almost everything else.”
“I have been lucky to work in theoretical physics at a fascinating time and it’ s one of the few areas in which my disability was not a serious handicap.”
“It’s also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life may seem because you can lose all hope if you can’t laugh at yourself and life in general.”