Randy Pausch: You Just Have To Decide If You're A Tigger Or An Eeyore
The Last Lecture presented by Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Science Professor Randy Pausch
has moved and inspired millions. His speech on achieving childhood dreams has truly touched peoples lives. His ability to deliver such a compelling speech given his circumstances is a wake up call for those of us who have not appreciated our own. The professor said
Im dying and Im having fun. And I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there's no other way to play it."
I simply cannot think of a more light-hearted and simple philosophy.
You just have to decide if youre going to be a Tigger or an Eeyore.Pancreatic cancer
is the leading cause of cancer deaths because early signs and symptoms are not easily recognized. Most signs dont appear until the cancer has spread and is no longer surgically removable. Despite his grim diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, Randy Pausch is joyfully living life. He was diagnosed in September of 2006 and when he delivered his lecture one year later he looked happy and seemed healthyhe demonstrated this during his lecture by doing push-ups
, the hand-clapping kind.
His speech was full of energy, honesty, humility, compassion, hope and zest. He seemed so satisfied with life who wouldnt be with the amount of success and accomplishments he has and all the amazing and influential people he knows? Everybody has taken a different life lesson from his lecture.
One of my favorite parts of Randys lecture is his reminder to Help Others
. Its essentially an ancient golden rule, but its amazing how refreshing it is to hear someone actually say it. Im constantly reminded of the value of helping others at firstgiving.com
and its great because it seems to always come full circle. Just as his family, mentors and professors helped him reach his childhood dreams, he in return has helped thousands of students achieve their childhood dreams. And long after he is gone, his legacy will continue helping students reach their goals.
People helping people; thats what firstgiving
is all about. So we were pumped to see that one of Randy Pauschs friends set up a firstgiving.com page
to help raise funds for research on pancreatic cancer. In 2006, an estimated $66.7 million dollars of the National Cancer Institutes (NCI) cancer research investment was spent on pancreatic cancer research. This is just 1% of the NCIs $4.8 billion dollar cancer research budget for 2006 (PanCan)
. It has the worst survival rate yet it is the most underfunded of all major cancers. Funding has a lot to do with its progress and the lack of funding for pancreatic cancer has caused there to be little progress. Since the
survival rate is so short; 75% die within 12 months and 5% survive for 5 years, its imperative that we raise more funds for research
. That is what Randy Pausch is doing, raising awareness which will ultimately raise more funds.
The sweetest part of Randys lecture was his conclusion (the headfake). His last lecture was not only or even primarily for his students or anybody else but for his three children. It just happened to be that his reflections enlightened everyone who saw it. He extracted a life lesson from all his experiences and compiled them into one speech to offer to his children.