This is Stephen Hawking’s timeless advice to disabled people about how they should live their life. Every disabled person should read his wise words.
“If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is 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.
I am afraid that Olympic Games for the disabled do not appeal to me, but it is easy for me to say that because I never liked athletics anyway. On the other hand, science is a very good area for disabled people because it goes on mainly in the mind. Of course, most kinds of experimental work are probably ruled out for most such people, but theoretical work is almost ideal. My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in. I have managed, however, only because of the large amount of help I have received from my wife, children, colleagues and students. 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.”
– Prof Stephen Hawking
I like the above quote because it reminds me that even though one might be seriously disabled there is still something that we can do. For me writing is something I can do completely independently using voice recognition software.
There are so many organisations out there now whose aim is to enable disabled people to take part in activities that not many years ago only able-bodied people could do. Organisations like the Calvert Trust for example help disabled people take part in outdoor activities like Sailing, rock climbing or camping.
Just because one might be disabled does not mean that one cannot live a fulfilling life.
RIP Stephen Hawking. An incredible scientist and human being. You are such an inspiration to so many, and your legacy will live on.