By José Alberto Gaytán García*
If you have ever gotten up not wanting to go to work because you have a headache or you have an emotional problem or some small physical disability, or if you are a student and got up tired and not wanting to go to school, or if you are totally bothered doing daily tasks, then please read the story on one of the most amazing examples of overcoming struggles. I am sure that its content will help you deal with the challenges and adversities of life with more determination, especially, those challenges that have to do with studies and professional improvement.
At the age of twenty, life smiled at Stephen Hawking, madly in love with his girlfriend Jane Wilde, he graduated first in the prestigious Oxford University College in England. Later, Hawking was awarded an honorary scholarship to study a doctorate in physics with specialization in cosmology at the University of Cambridge; suddenly his life took a brutal turn, he contracted amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a rare neurological disease known as Lou Ghering. This fatal disease destroys brain neurons that control the motor skills of the human body. The doctors at the University of Cambridge who diagnosed this disease gave him even worse news: “Mr. Hawking because of the seriousness of your illness you have three months to live”.
With courage and inexplicable determination, Stephen Hawking conquered the prognoses of the doctors and forty-six years later not only does he live to tell about it, but he is regarded by the international scientific community as the most brilliant mind in the study of the laws that govern the universe. In a wheelchair, totally paraplegic, unable to move or speak, this man with the spirit of steel, finally finished his doctorate married twice, has three children, at the age of 37, he was admitted to the Royal Scientific Academy of Britain. The academic authorities of the University of Cambridge awarded him the famous Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics that was given to Isaac Newton, discoverer of the laws of gravitation and one of the greatest and most famous scientists in the world.
The modern wheelchair used by Dr. Hawking has a powerful voice synthesizer that he manipulates with his right eye muscle, allowing him to communicate, write books, teach classes and give lectures in many parts of the world, this to the astonishment of those who see read and hear it. In addition to his Ph.D., Stephen Hawking has received twelve honorary degrees from the most prestigious universities in the world. He gets millions in income from the sales of his books, among his most successful works are God created the Numbers, The Universe in a Nutshell and Brief History of Time.
Stephen Hawking just turned 66. He is more alive and strong of mind than ever. He just wrote a Harry Potter type children’s book but in space, participated with an introductory message on the album Keep Talking of the English rock group Pink Floyd. He is a movie and television artist acting in the animated series The Simpsons and the famous television series Star Trek, as if all that was not enough, in 2009 he will travel to space, for which he already made arrangements and payment to an English company dedicated to space tourism trips. As Dr. Hawking says and says well: “I may be physically disabled but I am not mentally or spiritually disabled”.
Faced with such an astonishing lesson of overcoming and courage, the only thing left for us to ask is: And what about those of us who are not disabled physically or spiritually? What are we waiting for to work and study hard? Nothing right, well lets go.
Acerca del autor
- José Alberto Gaytán García ha escrito artículos y ensayos de corte académico en diarios y revistas de México y de los Estados Unidos; ha participado en importantes proyectos académicos e impartido conferencias sobre temas de historia, tecnología y educación en el marco de las relaciones entre México y los Estados Unidos, tema en el cual realizó sus estudios de doctorado en The Graduate School of Internacional Studies de la Universidad de Miami.