Somehow it’s fitting that Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch uses characters from A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh to challenge us as he confronts his own mortality in a futile battle with pancreatic cancer.
Although Pausch concedes that the cancer will ultimately win, his courageous, life-affirming public stance since receiving the terminal diagnosis has probably turned more gloomy Eeyore-types into bouncy Tiggers than anyone could imagine.
Pausch has become something of an Internet superstar with his “The Last Lecture” video, which had been downloaded some 10 million times before ABC News told his fascinating story again this week. The ABC report also included interviews with several people whose own lives had been transformed by Pausch’s uplifting lecture, which includes this line: “If I don’t seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you.”
Married with three young children, Pausch acknowledges that he is concerned that his family soon will be “pushed off a cliff.” But, he says, “I have some time to sew some nets to cushion the fall.”
Such devotion, foresight and determination are what we should all aspire to. After all, none of us knows when our own families will be pushed over a cliff. This post by Tori at the of personal value blog, talks about how “The Last Lecture” relates to an ethical will, something any of us can leave “to cushion the fall.”
To learn more about Pausch and videos and books about “The Last Lecture,” go here. Be forewarned, though, the ABC News report has sparked lots of activity at the site.
Randy Pausch photo courtesy of nimboo.