A top U.S. scientist has recently compared Professor Stephen Hawking to Darth Vadar and that he was more machine than man on Wired.com – on his 71st birthday. Analyzing his worthiness on his birthday? Ask his family, children, or assistant if he is more man or machine. He is a man that uses machines and technology that have enhanced his life. I’m disappointed and think it was a poor choice to write it and a poor choice to publish it. She does say some lovely things, like she followed him for years and looks up to him, but I find her other comments rude. Rude to the point that it overshadows the positive. Speaking of choices, I’m choosing not to publish her name and give her any more press.
Stephen Hawking is a brilliant man, with a degenerative condition and he relies on technology to get around and assist his daily activities. Many people would have given up if they were in his situation. She could have rejoiced in his abilities, because the technology has made his life easier. Not stating he is more machine than man. Her characterizations of him remind me of high school bullying or social media bullying that has also plagued the news. I realize it’s totally different levels, but I don’t care. He is still a person with feelings. I’m sure his family’s feelings are also affected. I don’t care how she wants to phrase it, or in what academic vein she thinks she can spin it. I didn’t like it.
Rude comments should not be made, especially in this context. His ability to overcome should be celebrated. I realize the argument can certainly be made that we no longer live in a polite society. But I think we should collectively encourage kindness and discourage such remarks.
I want to live in a polite society. I even choose to do so as much as possible with my social media streams. All my social streams are interesting, inspirational and motivational. How? Because I choose who I follow on Twitter and G+ carefully, and block any trolls and negative Nellies. Facebook is comprised of IRL friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Admittedly, I have unfriended Facebook friends who also fit into these categories.
I live by my favorite quote, “Mending the world within my reach.” – and I’d like to encourage my friends and followers to do the same. Life is too short and fragile to do otherwise. Help others. If you can’t help others, at least don’t hurt them.