A Few Words About Stephen ..

Road Crossing

“I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.”

Stephen Hawking

Missed this remarkable person’s 71st birthday on January 8, but better late than never …

“In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live.”

From his website

This in itself is not that remarkable a statement.  Many folks walking around today have suffered from and may still have diseases which used to kill us.  The advance of medical knowledge, and changing patterns in society, almost guarantee that some of us will outlive “death sentences” pronouned at a time which are based on the knowledge at that time.

Stephen Hawking - NASA PDThe remarkable thing is what he has done with his life.  Despite physical challenges which would completely demoralize and immobilze most of us, Hawking has persevered and, in some ways, prospered.

His contributions to our knowledge of the universe and our role as human beings are voluminous.   You can read about them elsewhere.  Hawking is recognized around the world as a figure of repute, even when those who recognize him hmay not be capable of explaining what he has done which accounts for his fame.

However, Hawking was not content to live the life of a physical recluse, the intelligent but handicapped genius alone with his work.  The NASA photograph above show Hawking with his daughter Lucy, who continues her father’s work.   He has been married twice, but not as many as some of my relatives:)    He has two other children besides Lucy.

The man also had a personal life …  

Stephen Hawking represent a life well lived .  A life not restricted by fate or whim, but an intentional and full life.

“Next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.”

Stephen Hawking

Reflecting on what this example of a life fully lived means for me in the Heartland ….