“Remember to 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. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
Stephen Hawking and his works mean a lot to me. A Brief History of Time was the first advanced (at least, to my 12-year-old self, though still to my 21-year-old self) science book that I read in English, at least as far as I remember. He demystified the universe in such a way that even a kid like me would understand that the universe has endless wonders, that the universe is not just the sun and the moon and the planets. I grew up thinking that we all have figured it out: we know that the sun doesn’t revolve around us, like how they used to believe. But we still haven’t figured it all out yet. Will we? I don’t know. But it makes me appreciate all the missing pieces and the discoveries I’m lucky enough to hear about in my lifetime, such as the discovery of the Higgs boson. It makes me wonder if there’s something I can discover, too. It doesn’t have to be a new planet or the final theory, but at least it is something that matters.
I’m not in a really good place right now, emotionally–long story short I feel really lost and I suddenly have no idea how to do it: do something that matters. What should I do, where should I begin, will the things I do ever matter? I got asphyxiated just thinking about it. It’s the worst feeling, being lost while knowing that you want to do so many things for so many people and you want to do good but the stars don’t align for you, instead they are a jumbled mess.
The news, albeit a sad one, makes me revisit all my favorite quotes and passages from Hawking himself. I feel a little bit better now, not so much but a little bit better and maybe that’s enough for today.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Hawking. Rest in peace.