Stephen Hawking Taught Us About Curiosity And To Live Without Fear

Stephen Hawking Taught Us About Curiosity And To Live Without Fear

The life and legacy of a gifted physicist.

The death of Stephen Hawking has left a gaping black hole in the scientific community and his passing was a great shock.

Despite his ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Hawking was one of the world's greatest physicists, and he taught us that we should not let our disabilities interfere with life. He kept exploring the universe, making numerous discoveries in fields of cosmology, quantum physics, and relativity. In 2011, Hawking stated: "My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit, as well as physically." Unfortunately, no current cure exists for ALS but research is well underway.

Hawking was diagnosed with ALS at the mere age of 21. The life expectancy for ALS on average is two to five years after diagnosis, but more than half of those diagnosed live more than three years. In an interview for The Guardian, Hawking stated: "I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first." Although he was diagnosed at a very young age where most of us are still discovering ourselves and was not expected to live past his 25th birthday, Hawking did not let the prospect of death slow him down. I believe that aside from his scientific contributions, his positive demeanor and optimism should never be forgotten.

What I took away from Hawking's words as a high-school student were three simple words: Never. Stop. Looking.

Hawking's words were just as memorable as his contributions to the scientific community, if not more. He once said, "It would not be much of a universe if it wasn't home to the people you love." That sums it up pretty accurately. Although he is no longer with us, the sky has, in turn, gained another star. We had the privilege to share the sky with one of the greatest minds of our era. Hawking even reminded us of that. Whenever times are glum, look at the stars and not your feet.

Cover Image Credit: Matheus Bertelli / Pexels

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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