Even if you haven't seen the most recent film about his life, The Theory of Everything, you know that Stephen Hawking has one of the most brilliant minds in history.
But on Saturday night, he proved that he was more than just book-smart; he is down-to-earth enough to know the trouble and sorrows of One Direction fans.
Appearing as a 3D hologram at the Sydney Opera House (he was physically still at Cambridge University in England), Hawking offered responses to questions about black holes, the universe and, as he said, "something important:" One Direction.
The questioner asked him, "What do you think is the cosmological effect of Zayn leaving One Direction and consequently breaking the hearts of millions of teenage girls hearts across the world?"
If it was meant to be funny or to throw him, the questioner was in for a treat and at the same time, potentially got millions of young girls interested in physics when Hawking responded, "Finally, a question about something important. My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes. It would not be beyond the realm of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another, different universe. And in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction."
Hawking also said, "The fact that we humans, who are ourselves mere collections of fundamental particles of nature, have been able to come this close to an understanding of the laws governing us and our universe is a great triumph."
But the most inspiring moment came when he said, "So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes a universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up."
Coming from someone who has stared into the face of an incurable condition and has triumphed, so far, at every turn, it bears repeating his admonition to never give up and pay attention to the universe around you; it is a pretty amazing place.
Of course, it is not surprising, but so well said.
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