This article is by Kerry Nenn and published by rehabs.com
He cannot speak. He cannot move. In 1963, he was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease and given just two years to live.
Now, at the age of 74, Stephen Hawking is considered one of the greatest minds of our time. He has twelve honorary degrees. He has spent his life searching for (and finding) answers in the realm of science. He delivers lectures, writes, and continues to inspire people worldwide.
Escaping A Black Hole
One of Hawking’s recent lectures included encouraging words for those struggling with depression.
Speaking at the Royal Institute in London, the scientist compared black holes to depression. After an in-depth look at the science behind black holes, Hawking concluded that black holes, like depression, are not impossible to escape. He noted, “The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they’re painted. They aren’t the eternal prisons they were once thought. 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.”
When speaking about disabilities, Hawking stated, “If you’re disabled, it’s probably not your fault, but it’s no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well. In my opinion, one should concentrate on activities in which one’s physical disability will not present a serious handicap.”
Hawking adds, “However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”
Reaching Out For Help
Hawking has also addressed the challenging task of asking others for help. When tumbling in a black hole of depression, it is often hard to reach out. It’s also hard to help ourselves and continue to try. Hawking recommends, “I find that people in general are very ready to help, but you should encourage them to feel that their efforts to aid you are worthwhile by doing as well as you possibly can.”
If you’re struggling with depression, this man’s life-long struggle with limitations (and victory over them) can serve as an inspiration. As you work your way out of your own black hole, keep in mind one last bit of advice from Hawking: “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.”