Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch - how to live... and die

I have listened more than once to Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture". His upbeat attitude, his forward thinking, and his courage to face his death with love, compassion, and gusto should be a lesson for us all. I often think if I were to be in his shoes, would I be able to embrace life as he has, living as an example of what life SHOULD be every day, rather than being bitter or depressed about what I won't have because my life (in my eyes) has been cut short. Do I even embrace life as well as I should now - even though I think I'll live another 20 years.

How would any of us really know how long our lives would have been? We assume that we're going to live into our 70's or 80's. But almost anything can cut our lives off shorter than what our expectations are. I could be killed by a car crash tomorrow - and if so, I have to ask myself: Would I have lived the life I wanted to - one that would have made a difference to others? Would I have lived a life that my daughter could remember me by with love and admiration, one where whe would think that I was a great mom, and would she remember how much I loved her from the little things I did with her and for her? Perhaps I better change some things now, so there will be no doubt in her mind.

I want to be like Randy's mom - in a go-cart racing down a track and living life to its fullest - or like his dad, having fun on the roller coasters and taking chances. Life is all about risk - we risk every day we get out of bed, and we should be facing that risk with a positive attitude. If we have nothing but fear in our lives, we cheat ourselves of the greatests gift God has given us - JOY, WONDER, LOVE, and FULFILLMENT. There are others, I am unable at this time to voice them all. But you know... you know. I know you do. You feel it, too.

My daughter gives every indication that she is a Tigger - and she loves the thrills of riding the rides at the fair and is excited every day over something - even if its going to the local park to play or going out to eat, or playing a game of Go Fish with me and her daddy - even just blowing bubbles or picking up trash in the yard. Yeah, she's a Tigger. And I want to make sure she keeps that sense of joy and wonder.

I have embedded from YouTube a video of his last lecture, given on Oprah. It is the only one I could find that was complete in one video. His lecture could teach all of us something about life and how to live it. May God watch over and take care of your family, Randy. God Bless you for the legacy you have left all of us.


Laura said...

Hi Julie,
I was just going to write you about him. He is one of my authors (he writes for Prentice Hall).
It's so sad but his life lives in all of us that have been touched by him.
I am going to try to venture up to CM for the memorial service.

Have a great weekend!
(from youtube)

Gina (Caleeo) said...

Hi Julie -

I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you as a beautiful breath of positive fresh air in this sometimes overwhelmingly negative world. Thanks for such a wonderful tribute to an amazing man.