Sunday, July 27, 2008
Beating the Reaper: Randy Pausch, 1960-2008
" But we don't beat the Reaper by living longer. We beat the Reaper by living well. "
A true teacher left his final classroom Friday. Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Randy Pausch finally succumbed to the ravages of pancreatic cancer.
But he certainly did not go meekly into the night.
The entire mushroom of attention about his health 'problem' and his philosophy of life really began as he sought a way to leave a permanent mark in the lives of his three children, to create a touchstone for them to always find the presence and love of a father taken too, too early from them.
He did so by documenting his life goals and how he worked to reach them. The methods and drive that worked for him will serve his children well in the decades that follow.
That he chose to share this personal story with his students, his colleagues, with us is a gift that we may never be able to re-pay. Except, perhaps, by living our lives as he lived his; sharing our energy, our optimism, our dreams and goals with all those around us to craft a better world and life for all.
You must see the video, you must read the book, you must absorb his message. If you take full measure of it you will find it greatly enriching your life and those you love.
There could be no better fitting gift for any of us to leave for those who will follow in our footsteps.
The Last Lecture video can be found here.
The Last Lecture book can be found here.
My review (and others) of The Last Lecture can be found here.