World-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking is known for the nitty-gritty of theoretical physics and providing us with complex yet invaluable insights into space and time. He has also been sharing his expertise in more emotional matters. In a recent talk Hawking gave a beautiful message to people suffering from depression, comparing depression with black holes – explaining no matter how dark they seem, neither are impossible to escape.
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Hawking said: “The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once though…things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up – there’s a way out.”
Hawking, who has just turned 74, has lived with motor neuron disease for almost 53 years – despite being told he had just two years to live when diagnosed in 1963, gave the speech in front of a crowd of over 400 people as part of the Reith lecture at the Royal Institute in London.
Speaking to the same audience, his daughter Lucy noted Hawking’s incredible mental fitness – both intellectually and emotionally.
“He has a very enviable wish to keep going and the ability to summon all his reserves, all his energy, all his mental focus and press them all into that goal of keeping going,” she said.
“But not just to keep going for the purposes of survival but to transcend this by producing extraordinary work – writing books, giving lectures, inspiring other people with neurodegenerative and other disabilities.”
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Somehow, this acknowledgement of the often debilitating condition of depression from such a survivor and brilliant mind can go a long way to offering courage to those of us who can suffer from the condition, just remember, no matter how bad it seems, like Stephen Hawking, to never give up.