Randy Pausch

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN – MESA ARIZONA — I generally start off my day reading the news. This morning, I treated myself to a news video on a guy named Randy Pausch. He is a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon. He is a husband and father of three children. He is funny. He is articulate. He is handsome. He is smart. He is dying of liver and pancreatic cancer.

RandyJai.jpgI watched Diane Sawyer’s interview with Randy Pausch and there were so very many kernels of information that hit the “truth meter” that I watched the video again this evening and cried again and again.

Citizens around the world have sent him letters asking him questions about his life, his dreams and his thoughts. His answers were thoughtful and honest. At the end he acknowledges his wife. He says she is an amazing person. He says they talk and talk and talk. He says that many will tell tales of him after he is gone but it is his wife that knows him best and will be able to share who he is after he is unable to share himself.

At the end of the day, I believe, all we want as humans is to be fully known by someone and still loved for who we truly are. That requires talking and sharing and accepting and forgiving and talking some more. At the end of a day (or at the end of a life), it seems that we all want to be known so we can be remembered not for what we have done, but for who we have become.

Randy Pausch has shared his hopes and dreams in The Last Lecture so his children will know him. His willingness, his vulnerablity with the world gives hope and confidence for others to share more of themselves. I will never know Randy personally, but because he shared himself I feel freer to share myself. At the end of this day I had an epiphany. A stranger shared his dreams and his truth and it profoundly impacted my life. It is clear to me that we are all of value and have something to offer the world. Everyone. Even me.

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  1. Sara Gold

    Some lessons from Randy Pausch’s last lecture that especially moved me:

    1. Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.
    2. Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
    3. Never lose the child-like wonder.
    4. If we do something which is pioneering, we will get arrows in the back. But at the end of the day, a whole lot of people will have a whole lot of fun.
    5. Be good at something; it makes you valuable.
    6. If you live your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, and the dreams will come to you.

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