He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and given only 3 months to live. Randy Pausch – the smart and popular computer-science Professor at CMU – did not resign and spend all his time crying.
Instead, he chose to rise up to the occasion and delivered the famous “Last Lecture“. In it, he summarized his lessons on life. He said it was important to speak the truth, to care about the few things that matter (and not the so many that don’t), and to give. For me, these lessons were very special as I was in the midst of addressing some challenges which needed just the kind of perspective that Prof. Pausch had shared in his words.
I again read about Randy Pausch’s reflections in his book “The Last Lecture” in which he had shared his outlook to life. He described joys of creative freedom through real experiences from his life — how, as a young boy, he enjoyed scribbling equations and drawing rockets on his room’s walls, how he encouraged his niece and nephew to feel free about spilling stuff on his new car, how he became a Disney Imagineer.
Randy Pausch called his tryst with pancreatic cancer “an adventure” whose record he kept on his day-to-day update page. To all of us fellow mortals, life itself can appear hard sometimes, so it is inspiring to see someone who stands up so cheerfully even in the face of apparent despair.
Prof. Pausch died last morning of complications from Pancreatic Cancer. And yet, in a very significant way, he continues to live on and inspire…