Ode to Stephen Hawking

When we collectively lose a great mind or talent , I feel the world should be required to pause for a moment of silence to breathe it in. So is the case for Stephen Hawking. This brilliant mind impacted the world not only by his scientific contributions, but the resilience he demonstrated throughout his life. Despite being diagnosed with an illness that ate away at his physical mobility and tactile independence , his intellect, deductive imagination, and exploration transcended to the ether. He seemed to be one of our world’s most recognisable and famous scientists. He was a rock star!

Although I lived in Cambridge for several years, I never had the privilege of meeting him. I had heard a deeply kind gesture about him years ago from an acquaintance of how he displayed his gratitude for those that assisted him. Mr. Hawking had a maid for several years he adored and assisted her with a down payment on her house. I heard of people having spottings of Professor Hawking at the Cambridge movie theatre , but I never was lucky enough to spot my neighbor . He remained connected with the university till the end of his life , continuing to offer support and guidance in anyway he could.

As I read through the paper about Stephen Hawking‘s life, accomplishments, and recent film that was made about his life (Theory of Everything), I realised that people are not grieving his loss but celebrating his life. The world always seemed to be holding their breath about the fragility of his physical state, but he lived to be 76. He outlived numerous individuals who were theoretically “healthy”. But perhaps because his health loomed over him, it deepened his appreciation for each day. An article in the evening standard said that “the subtext of everything he did and said was carpe diem.”

The Buddhists practice a daily reminder that your life is impermenant, five times per day actually. There is an app I recently downloaded called We Croak. If you downloaded , you are given a reminder “you are going to die” , 5x each day . It is then followed by an inspirational quote. If we practice reflecting on our mortality more frequently , it can deepen our experience of life.

We salute you Professor Stephen Hawking for providing a constant reminder of what we are capable of, to never give up, and “while there is life there is hope

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