Pausch learned that he had pancreatic cancer in September 2006, and in August 2007, he was given a terminal diagnosis: “3 to 6 months of good health left”. He gave an upbeat lecture titled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” on September 18, 2007, at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular YouTube video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller.
Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008.
I have not watched the full video of his Last Lecture but was touched enough by a brief version of his talk he gave on Oprah Winfrey to want to find out more about his experience:
If I had only 3 to 6 months left, I would be thinking of ways to do what I didn’t get to do for myself, like going places where I didn’t get to go before etc but Randy Pausch used whatever remaining time he had to inspire others and implement changes that benefit other people. Sets me thinking on how I can help and benefit others too.
There are quite a few nuggets of advice in the video I like.
one of which is How To Apologise:
- say “I am sorry”
- acknowledge “It was my fault”
- and the most important “How do I make it right”
I tend to miss out on the 3rd point…heh.
importance of people over things
- his parents letting him draw on his bedroom walls, understanding that it was more important than having pristine walls
- he showing his nephew and niece that he didn’t care for his 1st new car (by pouring a can of soda on his seats) and subsequently feeling good knowing that his 8 year old nephew would not feel guilty about vomiting in his car as the boy had the flu
reflecting on how I would have reacted if my kids did the same…I would have walloped them…sigh
much to learn and practise…
I will let go of worldly disire . The only one thing in my mind well be continously chanting 阿弥陀佛 . 万缘放下才可以。
Master Ri-Chang’s has a similar view!
From his Lamrim Commentary Track 28A
Actually, for those who have gone through some “life and death” situations or more serious illness, it will be easier to see that the pursuit of worldly desire is pretty much meaningless.
i guess i will fully focus the reminding time on doing good deeds and chant 阿弥陀佛 to prepare for the next life.
I will want to settle any outstanding matters, make amends with those that I have fallen out with and seek for forgiveness, make sure my family is well settled and to prepare them for life without me.