Physicist and author Stephen Hawking passed away today at the age of 76.  He suffered from a slow-onset form of ALS which paralyzed his body a little more each day after he was diagnosed at the age of 21.  He ended up wheelchair-bound and communicated using a cheek muscle attached to a speech machine.  He married twice, had three children and earned countless awards for his research and breakthroughs in physics and cosmology.  How the universe unfolds and evolves.  He was an inspiration.

Stephen said, “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

He also said, “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.”

And as someone who feels that the more I know the less I know, I found it quite powerful when Stephen said, “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”  Thinking you have all the answers.

We don’t have all the answers.  We don’t even know all the questions.  But if we expect nothing and are grateful for everything, anything can happen.  Stephen didn’t let his diagnosis stop him from changing the world.  So what is stopping us from reaching for the stars?

What are we curious about?  What fills our mind with excitement and makes us want to learn more?  As author Paulo Coelho said, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Thank you Stephen for helping us understand the universe through your eyes.  RIP.