Randy Pausch – “Today’s Talk is Not About Death. It’s About Life”
“I am dying soon. And I am choosing to have fun today, tomorrow and every other day I have left.”
Randy Pausch was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer when he was only in his 40s. He was an American Professor at CMU in Pittsburgh, teaching Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction.
A friend shared the video below on Facebook tonight. Despite knowing who Pausch was and actually knowing a reasonable amount about his work, I had never seen this lecture from September 2007. It left me utterly speechless.
Let me put this lecture into a little bit of context. In Septmber 2006, Pausch had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In August 2007, he was told it was terminal and advised he would live only for another “3 to 6 months.” One month after being told he would die, he gave a lecture as part of a series at CMU based on a question: if you were dying and had one last lecture to give, what would it be? This video is an abridged version of that lecture.
Pausch went on to survive until July 2008.
Watch it – watch it all the way through to the very moving closing line and actually listen. This puts those little gripes we all have from day to day into so much perspective. Here’s a man who’s dying, but who’s probably getting more from life than so many of us do.
What a beautiful parting gift for his children. And what an inspirational character this man was.
The above is an abridged version. The full version (1 hour and 16 minutes). Watch that here.