“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”
In all seriousness, we have a lot to learn from the famed theoretical physicist, even beyond the realm of science. In the quote above, he reminds us of the importance of working together if we want to advance the human race. We may not always agree with one another, but that’s the point: it is only through active discourse and debate that we can break new ground and move our understanding of the universe forward.
Stephen Hawking is perhaps best known for his book, A Brief History of Time, but he has many more contributions to our understanding of the world too. And he wasn’t able to do it alone. He was only able to do it by talking with other people, discussing the issues, and looking together for the most reasonable answers.
Al Gore told us how to go far. Barack Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us what we need to do to transcend hopes and dreams. And now, Stephen Hawking helps us define the path toward greater clarity and understanding, turning our dreams into a reality. We have the power. We just have to keep the conversation alive and keep it civil.