Last night I watched a documentary on Stephen Hawking, CH CBE FRS FRSA. Stephen is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author of “A Brief History of Time” and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. He says, “My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”
The most amazing thing in all of this extraordinary filming was his joy of living. Since the age of 20 when he was first diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a motor neuron disease which has progressed over the years—Hawking has had an enormous will to live life to the full.
As a young man he was only given 2 -3 years to live, today he is 71 years old, and although he is almost entirely paralyzed and communicates through a speech generating device; he goes into work every day. He says that because he has had the threat of death hanging over his head almost every day of his life, he wants to live to the fullest he possibly can.
Can you imagine? Having absolutely no control over any bodily function and yet, in his mind he travels further than most of us can conceive possible. He travels to the outer reaches of the universe to find out as much as he can about it and bring it back to us to read about.
I noticed another disabled person at the airport; a young man with no arms or legs sitting in a wheel chair. He operated it with a stick that he kept beside his neck, and occasionally shifted with his mouth to make sure the other end was attached to the right place on the wheel chair. There was no one with him, and an older woman went up to him to make sure he was okay. He was! Sweet isn’t it; people caring for people.
I couldn’t help but wonder how is he going to get on the airplane? And yet he did. Quite easily; he was the first to board the plane, and when I arrived, he was sitting in the seat behind me.
You see, people have extraordinary strengths and capabilities.
And it makes me wonder who is really disabled? Does a body that has lost function make a person disabled, or is it the mind that sinks into depression, upset and anguish? And if people like Stephen Hawking and the young man at the airport can get around and about and still have a good attitude about life—don’t we owe it to ourselves to do the same?
My friend, today make full use of whatever abilities you have. Whether it is your mind or your body, use them to their fullest today. Take your mind into the universe and walk amongst the stars and black holes with Stephen Hawking. Go outside your comfort zone and do something that fulfills your courageous heart. Whether it be to forgive someone, talk to a stranger or do something good for someone—make it a day to overcome your disabilities.