Randy Pausch died today. A professor from Carnegie Mellon University who was diagnosed with cancer more than a year ago, Pausch became a sensation on the interwebs when video from his “Last Lecture” began making the rounds. Apparently, the idea of a “Last Lecture” has been something of a tradition in the sacred halls of academia. When making such a speech, professors take one last opportunity to say what might have been previously left unsaid. Never has the title been more appropriate than in this case.
I have been challenged by this man and his words. The fact is, all of us will one day die… but some of us never truly begin to live. To quote Thoreau,
“…I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Pausch had the privilege of knowing that the end was near. My father-in-law did as well. (He was diagnosed with cancer and lived eleven months before dying. He was only expected to make it for six.) Some of us will get a diagnosis, but for others, death will come quickly without warning and without asking for our permission.
Because of this, I encourage you… don’t leave anything unsaid. Don’t leave anything undone.
I would write more, but I am going to hug my kids.
P.S. – I have excerpts from the video over there to the right. Check it out if you haven’t already seen it.