how Randy Pausch lived a full life
I’m a bit late on the Last Lecture phenomena. Never read the book. Didn’t see the Youtube video that millions saw last year — 8.6 million views to date.
I only watched it a few weeks ago in 2009.
What prompted me was listening to a Menlo Park Presbyterian Church podcast, of an 11/26/08 interview with Steve Seabolt about Randy Pausch, with John Ortberg (video | audio). Steve was a close friend of Randy, even being with Randy during his last moments. Steve described Randy’s faith convictions as follows:
“So Randy chose not to talk about faith, and a lot of people very wrongly concluded that he was not a Christian, or he was not a believer. And that simply wasn’t the case. Religion as Randy had so often seen it practiced was more about words and divisiveness, than action. And he believed in Christianity in action, and not so much talking about it.”
As a person of faith, it’s my opinion that none of us have a perfect theology, though some people think they have the gold standard. I’m not one to venture to say I have the “ONE” right one out of the 3,000+ Christian denominations and sects. While I certainly do not agree with the Unitarian understanding of God, the comment by Randy’s friend Steve does give us pause to re-consider and not be so quick to judge someone’s faith convictions. I’m not God, and neither are you. 🙂
From the videos I watched of Randy’s lectures and interviews, he did have a good perspective and understood the value of life. What was compelling was not the profoundness of his insights, but that he knew his life was terminal, and did not give up on living life to the full. That got people’s attention. Some of the salient quotes I caught:
- tell the truth all the time
- we can’t change the cards we’re dealt, just how we play our hand
- [live with] no regrets, [and able to say that you] gave it your best shot
- [about the last lecture] It’s not about achieving your dreams, it’s how to lead your life. And, the talk is not for you, it’s for my kids.
- Think of time as a commodity.. you can never get time back; you can always earn more money..
Truth of the matter is, all of our lives are terminal. My days are numbered.
Contrasting the journey and the destination, I’m much more excited about the journey and who comes along with me, and very uninterested in the destination or goals or milestones. I ask myself: what would it look like to live my life well?