Sunday, November 2, 2008

Randy Pausch--The Last Lecture

With a barrage of news on the nosediving economy and the harangue of political campaigns, I searched the Internet for inspiration and hope. I have not heard from my husband John in Iraq for several days. But yet there is no heavy pit in my stomach. I am hopeful. My church, friends, and family and neighbors have generously called and paid visits with cheery fruit baskets and minimal gifts for the kids. I don't want them to get used to gift receiving all year long. Limits are important. What was I searching? Not sure, a book to read, a movie, someone else's story.

Then I found it. The story of Randy Pausch--The Last Lecture. You probably heard of him and may have even seen the Last Lecture on video. If not, THIS IS A MUST SEE. Randy was a charismatic professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon and was battling pancreatic cancer. Actually I would say he embraced it. Doctors gave him six months to live. So Randy embraced this disease not as an intruder but as a guest who bears other gifts. Randy fulfilled his childhood dreams (you have to see the video to find out what those dreams were]. He shared an exuberant "last lecture" that inspired people beyond the walls of the university. The speech reverberated around the world and inspired millions of people --everyday people with everyday problems and moreso. These same people wrote to Randy and shared their stories. "No more whining about my arthritis or aches and pains," wrote one man. "I'm going to live life again, aches and pains and all". Another woman wrote "I'm getting out of my sick bubble and bed. Randy if you can do pushups with pancreatic cancer, I can start taking walks outside and gain strength. I have no excuse."

As you can see, the video provokes self reflection. For me, I know I am very blessed. Three healthy children, a wonderful husband who fights for our country with no reservations (I believe this has helped him survive), a home, a great country. Perhaps not perfect, but still the greatest country. We have worked hard and God has blessed us. We are still together.

In the spirit of positive thinking, Christine (my Blog Sister) and I want to spread a little of Randy's humble ways and powerful message. To the first person that posts a COMMENT on this blog (minimum 30 words), we will send you a copy of Randy Pausch's book The Last Lecture. To accompany your reading, we will also send a potpourri of herbal teas (Chamomile, Green Tea, Earl Grey) in a handsome box. [see instructions at bottom of this posting] . *** NOTE: As of Saturday, Nov 8, we have a winner! *** But you can still order the book from Amazon by scrolling down to the bottom of this posting.

Here is our prelude to the video. So find a quiet spot, sit back and discover your inner child and fulfill those childhood dreams:

Randy was not a religious zealot but he was deeply rooted in faith in others.
Randy did not live in the past, he lived for the moment.
Randy did not live in his ill-fated present when he became increasingly ill. He lived for a better tomorrow for the rest of mankind. That we dare not pity him but have the courage and conviction to achieve our childhood dreams. Randy was an average man with average dreams and superhero achievements--he moved mountains -- that of hardened souls --with a few, simple words. No fervent sermons, no shouting
harangue, no over-your-head anecdotes. Randy used simple, words. And he INSPIRED.

Below is Randy's Last Lecture on video (76 minutes). I have watched it twice in the past year. Like a classic movie that never loses appeal, this story is for all ages for ages to come. Book mark this site for a reference at a moment of bad news, sadness or despair.

Good Morning America interviewed Randy right after his wildfire speech. Click on the link below for the interview.

Randy Pausch died on July 25, 2008.

Right below this posting, click on COMMENTS. You have the option to use your first name or a pseudo name, maybe your favorite superhero. Comment must be minimum 30 words. All comments are directed to our INBOX before they are posted so we can moderate for foul language and spammers. So you will not see your comment right away. The first commenter will be announced on this blog. So you just have to check back. If we announce you're the winner, you'll need to email us at so we can mail your prize anywhere in the world. IT'S THAT EASY! Any questions, just email us. Thank you for reading our Blogs. We hope it makes your world a little lighter & brighter.


Lauren said...

I already have the book so pass it along to someone else, but I just have to say what a wonderful role model he is. I can't even imagine going through that. Thanks for sharing his story on your blog. If we could all have this attitude, the world would be brighter.