The Last Lecture

Professors are frequently asked to give a lecture called “The Last Lecture”.  These lectures are about their death and what would matter most to them at the end of their lives.  When Professor Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon was asked to give a Last Lecture, he was facing the end of his life.  Yet he was only 46 at the time.  He was dying from cancer.

This remarkable lecture has been on You Tube, and you can watch it here.  As a result of its popularity Professor Pausch has also written a book by the same title.  I happened upon the book, not having heard the story at the time, and am engrossed in it.

This is a man who refuses to let his diagnosis get him down, even after his last treatment fails to help him. His Last Lecture was not on dying, it was on how to achieve your childhood dreams.

I thought it was fitting that I stumbled upon this book at a time I had decided to spend an entire month focusing on the subject of gratitude.

So today’s quotes come from the book The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch:

Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other. 

Some even say they are grateful for their disease.  I have no such gratitude for my cancer, although I am certainly grateful for the advance notice of my death.



    • I just read your post. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. What an amazing couple they were. One point you mentioned was his desire not to work his remaining days, or clean house. I wish they could have had that realization without his illness. I hear people all the time talking about “when I retire”. There are no guarantees in life, putting off everything till you are over 65 means you may not be able to do those things any more. It’s good to have goals, we all need something to look forward to, but not to the extreme where we wait to actually life life.


    • Hope your library has it. It’s funny when I saw the book at my library I was rushed in choosing books by the grand kids. I glanced at the write up on the book and because it was with the new books I just assumed it was a work of fiction, imagine my surprise when I took a closer look at home!


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