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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

And you thought *I* was a giver!

I spotted this a few days ago over at Jack's place and bookmarked it 'for later'.  I didn't watch it right away... which, with me, is usually the kiss of death for actually getting around to something.  But I really wanted to see it, so yesterday I found the time and I am so glad that I did. 

All I can say is that watching this video was a life changing experience for me.

What you are about to see is called 'The Last Lecture'.  It was was modeled after an ongoing series of lectures at Carnegie Mellon University where top academics are asked to think deeply about what matters to them, and then give a hypothetical "final talk," i.e., "what wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?"

This 'Final Lecture'  was delivered by Dr. Randy Pausch, a professor at CMU who, amazingly, is only a year older than I am.  But sadly, not for much longer. 

You see, Randy Pausch has cancer.  The bad kind.  Pancreatic Cancer... which has a 4% survival rate at 5 years. 

He is a husband and father, and despite being given only a few months of quality life by his doctors, he decided that rather than wallow in self-pity, what he really needed to do was use the clarity that his diagnosis has given him, and share his life's lessons with his colleagues and students.  This is a video of that 'Last Lecture'.

He has only been on this earth for 47 years... but he has somehow assembled such an incredible collection of life lessons that - if you don't watch this - you will be passing up one of the most valuable, life-affirming set of lessons that has ever been offered to you. 

And it's free.

Trust me.  Skip lunch... pass on one of your regular TV shows this evening... sit down with your spouse and kids... and watch this:

[Updates:  1) A book entitled 'The Last Lecture' co-authored by Dr. Pausch just went on sale on April 8th'.  If it is half as wonderful as the actual lecture it is a must have for every thinking, caring person; 2) You can follow Dr. Pausch's medical updates here on a page he updates whenever there is nows (good or bad).]

Posted by David Bogner on April 15, 2008 | Permalink


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Why do I feel like we're about to get rickrolled? : )

Posted by: Benji | Apr 15, 2008 9:54:21 AM

I have watched it a couple of times. Each time I watch it I am struck by a million different thoughts. I'll save those for my own blog.

But the one thing that I must share is that I can't help but be disappointed that I never got to take one of his courses. I bet they would have been quite interesting.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 15, 2008 10:08:25 AM

someone sent me this link a few weeks ago. it really makes you think, and appreciate what is truly important.

Posted by: nikki | Apr 15, 2008 11:39:49 AM

Do we choose our lives or do our lives choose us? as fateful as this question might sound, its always worth asking everytime we realize how blessed we are.

Posted by: Rami | Apr 15, 2008 12:19:32 PM

Okay, I am going to take your opinion (I very much trust Jack too), but it was also on my "I'll get back to it" list. I'll watch it before the day is over.

Posted by: the misanthrope | Apr 15, 2008 3:32:01 PM

I have also watched the video at least three times in full.

I've also watched everything else I can about Randy, his ideas (check out his "Time Management" lecture), and his attempts to increase funding for/awareness of pancreatic cancer.

(Since I first saw the video, about a month ago, I've really wanted to post it on my blog. But, being technically challenged, I haven't been able to figure out how to do this...)

One of the points Randy made (not in the "last lecture") is that because of the nature of pancreatic cancer, the type of breakthrough necessary to fight pancreatic cancer will undoubtedly have a profound affect on cancer treatments in general, since it will, by necessity, be creating a new model.

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Apr 15, 2008 6:02:06 PM


YouTube provides the code you need to "embed" the video in your blog. If you look at a YouTube page you will see the video and a number of other items.

To the right of the video is a box that identifies the name of the poster who uploaded the video. Within that box is a line that says "embed." Grab all of the code from the box that says "embed" and then drop that into your post on your blog.

You can confirm that you have done it properly by using the post preview function on your blog. Once you confirm that you have the video all you need to do is give a title to your post, enter whatever text you want around it and then click the publish button.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 15, 2008 6:26:35 PM

Diane Sawyer interviewed him, it was on tv last week. She also showed clips from his last lecture. It was amazingly sad, uplifting, frustrating and inspiring all together. I'm glad to see it on YouTube so that I can share it with my teenage son.

Posted by: ac | Apr 16, 2008 6:03:29 AM

I showed this to my wife last night, and before it started I handed her a tissue. Aliza thought I was nuts and shrugged. When he showed the last picture of himself with his kids she knew why I handed her the tissue...

Posted by: Aharon | Apr 16, 2008 4:17:34 PM


Posted by: rutimizrachi | Jul 28, 2008 4:43:14 PM

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