Friday, July 25, 2008

RIP Randy Pausch

The good-humored and incredibly brave soul of Randy Pausch passed away today at the hands of that hateful bastard, pancreatic cancer.

Randy was the Carnegie Mellon professor whose "last lecture" became a huge Internet phenomenon and became a best-selling book. I've read so much about this guy and was constantly amazed at how he stoically dealt with the horrible news that his cancer would soon take his life, leaving his wife a widow and his three young children without a father.

His reaction was to have as much fun as possible and pass along whatever gems of wisdom he had acquired in 47 years of life on Earth. So when the opportunity came, he shared as much we could handle. I read every interview I could get my hands on and marveled at how a man could summon the courage to say goodbye his family and still take the time to share with strangers his gifted insight.

I just kept thinking, "This is not a marketing stunt. There is no ulterior motive here. This guy is really going to die." Today, that horrible fact is driven home by Randy's passing.

Thankfully, he left with some fantastic advice in his lecture, "How To Achieve Your Childhood Dreams" in which he infuses humor, some push-ups and very sage advice:

"The brick walls are there for a reason ... to show us how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They're there to stop the other people."

Thanks so much, Randy. We wish you could have stayed longer.


Fang Bastardson said...

We're losing a lot of good ones this year. I'm glad Johnny Cash can't die again.

HDH said...

I too read his book and watched his lecture. He reminded me a bit of my mom when she died of a chronic illness - she was a teacher and it was her last and most powerful lesson for me. It was almost as if this happened so they could educate us. Enjoying the moment is what matters and remembering your dreams. I have spent way too much of my relatively fortunate life whining and thinking about the great life I am going to build - instead of focusing on the good life I have. However, to the credit of those two people I don't do it nearly like I used to. If the media spent more time on stories like that and less time on the likes of Lindsey Lohan etc - this would be a great start. Technology is also a double edged sword - when you are on your cell phone - you are not having dinner, listening to the concert, watching the performance, or for that matter driving your car - you are on the phone. I will never forget Randy and my mom's courage - for that I will always be grateful.

ClizBiz said...

Fang: Amen to that, brother.

HDH: After I read this, I had to go back once, twice and three times to see if I read the 'HDH' correctly. I'm so glad to read such gratitude in your words. You are one of the luckiest cats I know and I fully agree with your sentiments. Yesterday is long gone and tomorrow may never get here; today is all we've got. Folks like Randy and Mama HDH shouldn't have to pass to remind us of that.

hotdrwife said...

I'm sorry, was that my husband that left a comment? Must. Look. For. Pod. Aliens. Have. Landed.