Look Up At The Stars

Stretched hospital Accident and Emergency department bosses are blaming the passing of Professor Stephen Hawking and quotations taken out of context on a spike in admissions over the past two weeks.

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The stars

Professor Hawking famously said ‘Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and about what makes the universe. Be curious.’

He was clearly making a heartfelt appeal for people to engage their natural curiosity, too often neglected. Unfortunately, many posts on social media and pieces on TV and in the press only featured the first sentence of the quote, ‘Remember to look up at the stars, not down at your feet.’

An ambulance

Commented Iqbal Aziz, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Watford Royal Infirmary, ‘We already have enough trouble with people tripping over on uneven pavements in the town centre. It’s made worse by the fact that most of the halfwits living here are looking at their phones instead of watching out for hazards on the footway.’ Aziz went on to talk about the ‘toxic combination of uneven sidewalks, iPhones and alcohol’, which he said manifests itself every Friday and Saturday night. Visibly showing signs of stress, the under-pressure medic continued, ‘Ever since the public became aware of Professor Hawking’s advice not to look at your feet, they have been following it to the letter. The bi-ped, owing to its height, needs to keep itself appraised of the terrain at all times. There is a time and a place to investigate the mysteries of the universe, and it isn’t while navigating the hazards of the pavement in Clarendon Road, especially after a skinful at Wetherspoons.’

Typical pavement or sidewalk for my one American reader.

Professor Basil Entwhistle, Visiting John D. Hopkins Professor of Quotations at East Watford University, said, ‘I have a dream that one day every quote will be printed in full. The unnecessary hospital visits caused by people only publishing the first sentence of this quote is yet another aspect of the malaise caused by laziness and carelessness.’ He continued his rant by adding, ‘I blame social media for publishers of content no longer including the complete quote. I also blame the Conservative government, the Russians and the European Union. Quoting out of context should be met with the mandatory study of Gower’s Plain Words.’

More seriously, Stephen Hawking said many great things, not least of which is the quote used above. One which I can very much relate to is the following:

‘After my expectations had been reduced to zero, every day became a bonus and I began to appreciate everything I did have.’

Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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