Certain people know how to position themselves for success better than others.  If you have to have ALS, Stephen Hawking chose extremely wisely.  He once said “in theoretical physics, having ALS is not a handicap”.  When he was young, he was so engrossed in his work that he talked about hardly even noticing or caring about his loss of physical ability.   Now let’s just say for the sake of argument, one chose a life of athletics and working as a high wire artist on ladders and scaffolding.    I’m brushing up on my physics now.  Hey, I’m actually pretty good at physics.

A few Hawking quotes that I like:

Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

I have no idea. People who boast about their IQ are losers.

People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.

It would not be much of a Universe if it wasn’t for the people you love.

Stephen Hawking had as good and as full of a life as most.  He has given people the impression that one can live with ALS nearly indefinitely.  What most people don’t know is that he has been kept alive by a mechanical ventilator for over 30 years now.  Most people with ALS decide not to go on a ventilator, saying “enough is enough”.  The problem with going on one is that you then have to either be OK living that way for the long hall, or you have to circle a death date on the calendar.  Stephen showed that the long haul is possible.