“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
A mans life reads like a book. Upon passing he leaves the chapters as a guide post to those around him.
Stephen Hawking left many lessons behind for us, first in theoretical physics, and second in how to live well.
While exploring the mechanics behind the universe is fascinating, it’s the lessons that he left in the chapters of his life book that we can learn the most from.
Imprisoned within a body broken by disease, Stephen Hawking sailed the furthest reaches of the universe in the vehicle of his mind.
One of the most intelligent men in the world, he was also one of the most humble. He believed that those who bragged about their intellect were losers.
A lesson that we should apply to our own lives. If we excel at a thing others will know and appreciate it. We don’t need to boast about it. Be humble in success.
He once said “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
We often form opinions about issues based on what we think we know about a thing. This is ironic when often we don’t know enough about said thing to from an opinion. If the illusion of knowledge is a great enemy then perhaps we should take the time to research and understand an issue before taking a position.
Hawking believed that intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. As he had to adapt from leading a normal life as an able bodied student to learning to overcome the disability brought by the onset of ALS.
This should serve notice to us that change is inevitable, and it is the ability to adapt to and overcome change that will define our intelligence.
Perhaps this is the most important lesson from the chapters of Hawking's life.
Change will come. It will come in many forms. Sometimes slowly and subtly and sometimes swiftly and violently. It will come into our professional lives, our romantic lives, and our family lives.
We will all face change. It is our ability to adapt to and overcome this change this will have the largest effect on what kind of book our lives will have written for those around us.
Whatever change you face, no matter the obstacle, you can persevere, as Stephen persevered over the catastrophic change brought on by ALS.
Stephen Hawking left much for the world, but perhaps the greatest gift he left was that of inspiration.