As many of you prepare to take the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, I want to wish you, the next generation of scientific minds, success in your academic endeavors. This culmination of your hard work marks just the beginning of your very bright futures.
Growing up, my parents placed a high value on education and I am grateful for the limitless opportunities provided by my studies. Whether you aim to be a doctor, teacher, scientist, musician, engineer, or a writer — be fearless in the pursuit of your aspirations. You are the next generation of big thinkers and thought leaders that will shape the future for generations to come. - SH
在我成长的过程中，我的父母一直很重视教育。我很庆幸这一路来学习给我带来得无数的机会。无论你励志成为一名医生、老师、科学家、音乐人、工程师或是作家 —— 请勇往直前地追逐你的梦想。你们是下一代的大思想家和意见领袖；未来将因你们而生。- SH
Thank you for all of your fascinating comments and questions! I appreciate the opportunity to correspond with my friends on Weibo.
A question from the comments:
"There is a story about an ancient Chinese philosopher, Zhuangzi. Zhuangzi dreamt of becoming a butterfly. And he wondered if he was a man who dreamt of being a butterfly or a butterfly that dreamt of being a man. Prof. Hawking, how do we know if we are living in our dreams or reality?”
Thank you for your question! Zhuangzi dreamt of being a butterfly - perhaps because he was a man who loved freedom. I might dream of the universe and then wonder if the universe dreamt of me. To answer your question how do we know if we are living in our dreams or reality - well, we just don't and perhaps can't! At least not until we start to understand more about consciousness and the universe. We must keep striving for an understanding of the fundamental questions of existence. And then perhaps we will know whether the butterfly - and the universe - are real or just in our dreams. -SH
If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans.
关于科学发现中灵感迸发、豁然开朗的瞬间（the Eureka moment）：
I wouldn’t compare it to sex, but it lasts longer.
If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well.