Annual International Stephen Hawking Day on 3-14 death or 1-8 birth
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3-14-2018, we were yet again reminded of Stephen Hawking. In my life that name has come up quite a few times and every time it did, caused a moment of reflection. Not always the same. Yesterday, we were reminded again but on an ominous note, his passing. This time my reflection was, will my youngest child see half as many reminders of this man in her lifetime? He was special and therefore worthy of reminders but will he be accorded that privilege? This is what brought me to this. It would be superfluous to say the least if I were to say that he was an inspiration. How can we keep this inspiration alive forever is the more pertinent question. I would humbly suggest that we make 3-14 (death) or 1-8 (birth) 'Stephen Hawking Day' to be celebrated around the world. No fireworks or holiday is required. Simply having a child, or an adult, told one way or another that it is Stephen Hawking Day and to be reminded of who he was is sufficient. Why him you might ask. Well, different parts of him do mean different things to different people. Each suggests hope and promise. Was it his disease, was it his caricature of a body, was it his use of technology to create the indelible voice, was it his theories of the universe that were so revealing and baffling, was it his sense of humor? His person paralleled his theory that the Universe so big came from something so small. In a time when celebrity and attention comes from one skewed corner he showed that all work has relevance and is worthy of celebration. If one with severest of handicaps can do science, write a NY Times best seller, do cameos, be stuff of movies, fly in zero gravity, be a celebrity among celebrities, then perhaps I can be a meaningful fraction. When asked why him when Newton and Einstein, symbolic of science, don’t have their day. I simply say his day will stand for curiosity and beating adversity which is science and more. Most everyone will have their own take of that day. In the end it would be nice to know, in the distant future, 3-14 or 1-8 will evoke the name Stephen Hawking and give one pause to look up at the sky, or simply look at a hopeless situation from a more constructive viewpoint and just say WOW.
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