We’ve had this quote by Stephen Hawking on our fridge for years. He’s the brilliant British physicist who is paralyzed by motor neuron disease, yet continues to work vigorously in his field. He communicates via a computer screen attached to his wheelchair. As commonly used words run across it, Hawkins move a cheek muscle to signal an electronic sensor in his eyeglasses and transmit instructions to the computer, gradually, patiently building sentences…
When asked how he keeps his spirits up, he replied:
My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.
In a recent, rare New York Times interview, he continues to inspire with his acutely positive and productive approach to making the most of the hand we are dealt, whatever that may be (and we are ALL dealt some kind of rough hand):
I don’t have much positive to say about motor neuron disease. But it taught me not to pity myself, because others were worse off and to get on with what I still could do.
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.
Related posts: signmark and the very loud message of deaf rap
the possibilian explores time
the power of uncertainty -> ‘delicious ambiguity’
william kamkwamba: creating currents of electricity and hope