Randy Pausch, the professor at Carnegie Mellon University who inspired countless students in the classroom and others worldwide through his highly acclaimed last lecture, died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008. He was 47.
You might not think of Randy’s story as a ‘good news story’ (which was what I said I wanted the posts on this blog to be about). He died far too young and left behind a wife and 3 small children.
But Randy Pausch is still my hero. He lived more in the last 2 years of his life than most people who make it into their 90’s do. He shared his story, his humanness, his courage, his fears, his humor and his wisdom, and he inspired millions. I’m reading his book ‘The Last Lecture’ and it’s just about as far from depressing as anything could possibly be that was written by a dying man.
Randy’s book isn’t about dying; it’s about living. He was a shining example of how the value of a life can’t be measured by the number of days we breathe, but rather what we do with them. Some people live the same day over and over again, while Randy lived 47 years, each new day at a time.
The postings on Randy Pausch’s blog are chronological, so it of course starts off with a notice that Randy has died. But the postings leading up to that last sad one, represent a life well lived.