When we are young and/or healthy, we are open to change, and handle it well. Now that Stephen Hawking is old and unhealthy, he sees it as “intelligence.” He may just be right.
As we age, and if we do not take good care of our body, mind and soul, we become less flexible, and try to hold on to things as they are.
This eventually leads to more suffering.
The key is to enjoy every moment, without being attached to it, and welcome the change.