Professor Stephen Hawking has delivered a poignant message about what has kept him going since his diagnosis of Motor Neurone disease at the age of 21.
The 74-year-old advised the audience at the flagship BBC Reith lecture not to let anger triumph, no matter how hard life can get, according to the Radio Times.
“It’s important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can lose all hope if you can’t laugh at yourself and at life in general.”
The statement was part of his answer to a question from an audience member where he said that in spite of his disease he has been “very fortunate in almost everything else”, especially throughout his career as a theoretical physicist, in which he says his disability never was considered a handicap.
When Hawking was diagnosed with the syndrome he was initially given two years to live which he says reduced his expectations to “zero”. However it is his “work and a sense of humour” that continues to motivate him after all these years.
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The Professor made the comments as part of his wider speech given on January 7, where he expanded on his pioneering theory of black holes.
He also used it to warn of the man-made dangers which could affect humanity and planet Earth. According to the BBC he listed these as nuclear war, global warming and genetically-engineered viruses.
The physicist also used his platform to clear up an important misconception some may have of him. The Telegraph reports that when asked whether his speech synthesiser has affected his personality or made him more of an extrovert, he dispelled he was ever an introvert.
“Just because I spend a lot of time thinking doesn’t mean I don’t like parties and getting into trouble,” he reportedly said.
Hawking initially postponed the flagship lecture, originally to take place on November 12, because he was unwell.
Just over two weeks ago he reassured his audience that he continues to enjoy giving lectures and credited his speech synthesiser “even though I ended up with an American accent”.
The lecture will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 26 January and 2 February.
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