Our Heart Speaks (OHS), through the power of the story has been privileged to share and bear witness to a life of meaning and purpose when facing the daily challenges of an acquired disability or chronic medical condition.
We remember and pay tribute to a man who personifies this.
Stephen Hawking one of the most famous and influential scientists of our time. passed away at the age of 76. He lived a full life of 55 years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In spite of the challenges with loss of motor function and the ability to speak, with the help of a speech-generating device combined with a software program he successfully communicated to the world ideas and words that would change our view of the universe.
His, was a rich life which included marriage, three children and major contributions to science. He is best known for demonstrating that Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity suggests that space and time began at the birth of the universe and ends within black holes, with the implication that Einsteins theory and quantum theory must be united. Hawking determined that black holes are not totally silent but emit radiation which has far reaching implications to our understanding of the universe. He also recognized the importance of communicating science to the layperson through his popular writings and television appearances. There was even a 2014 movie based on his life.
Beyond his impressive mind and many scientific achievements, there was the man who by example illustrated what it means to relish life.
These quotes reflect his wisdom:
“We should seek the greatest value of our action”
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”
“It is a waste of time to be angry about disability. One has to get on with life and I haven’ t done badly. People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining”
“I relish the rare opportunity I’ve been given to live the life of the mind. But I know I need my body and that it will not last forever”
Like the many examples of resilience and human potential that OHS has helped to give voice to, Professor Hawking exemplifies the power of the human spirit at its best and what is possible.