Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Professor's Lecture Of A Lifetime

You can find several versions of the last lecture of Dr. Randy Pausch of Carnegie Melon University on You Tube, but no one has a better version than ABC. The one listed below is the one that was done by their News Division:

This URL has an 18 minute version of his last lecture. It is well worth your time.

Please note that the lecture is not depressing nor morose, but he shares what he has learned from looking at his death about his life. There is plenty for all of us to learn from this man, who at this writing, is still alive.

What I would really like is this. If you choose, listen to what he has to say, and write a comment about what you saw, learned, discovered, whatever made an impact that's worth sharing. Thank you.


The CEO said...

I was impressed by the idea of brick walls, but I was absolutely blown away by the idea that when people were no longer telling you that you were doing it wrong, that no one cared about you any more.

I thought it also meant that you had also probably stopped caring about others and had stopped interacting with them. It seemed that either you had lost too many people from your life, or there was a bigger problem that needed addressing. Either way, it was certain that remedial action was needed, and that friends or family were needed.

I also came to think about blogging with a new respect.

Odat said...

I'm coming back to read all this and about your surgery too...this is a quick hello from work!!!

The CEO said...

Hi Odat, this one is really very upbeat, it just doesn't sound that way!

My Reflecting Pool said...

I finally got a chance to listen. I like how positive a message he brings. I like how he realized how many of the things he set out to do, he accomplished. I like that he has made a form of peace and is able to share it. I would have liked one of those stuffed animals.

The CEO said...

Pool, I figure that the long time, the 18 minutes would be a deterrent, so that's why I put in the 8 minute version. I was so impressed by the guy and his positive message I just had to share it. I am so glad you did it!

Glamourpuss said...

At work - will listen at home. Promise.


Crankster said...

It's funny--but I was about to send this to you. Amazing lecture!

The CEO said...

Puss, I hope you can do it, I think you'll be surprised.

Crank, it's wonderful seeing you. I wrote you about it on Facebook. I thought the guy was amazing. I should have sold it better.

Echomouse said...

Well, no surprise I'm apart from popular opinion. I've learned these things already at the hands of my parents. The brick wall theory works in some situations but not all and is no way to live life. As for waiting for people to show their good side, sometimes maybe but it depends.

I take exception to his dislike or disrespect for "pity" as he calls it. Pity has gotten a bad rap. Pity is compassion and the person who cannot feel compassion or sympathy is an emotionally lacking individual.

His life was blessed. He did well. I'm happy that he is at peace. But his message is clouded in false realities I think. But I've seen that in people who are dying a few times. It's good for them to be in that space. That doesn't mean they have the definitive answer on how to live life. And it also doesn't mean their way works for everyone. Tell the child from the ghetto who is not gifted intellectually or monetarily, who can never rise above no matter how hard they try. There is a reason for every life. For everyone who wrongs, they exist for a reason. For everyone who does right, they also exist for a reason. But these platitudes people like this deliver really get on my nerves. It's not a full realistic picture of life and should be taken simply as what it is - his message, as he said, for his kids. The rest of us, most of us, DO live our lives the best we can. Measuring ourselves against each other never leads to a good end and is not what humanity is about.

Sorry. Bit of a rant. It's a nice message but I've learned it's not entirely true. It's stuff of hollywood.
But for you {{{HUG}}}} and thanks for sharing this because it made me think.

Bruce said...

Echomouse, I'm not sure that I agree with you about pity and compassion. It seems to me that, in having compassion for someone, you make him or her your equal--you draw emotional connections between the two of you.

Pity, on the other hand, smacks of condescension. With pity, you look down on someone, much as you might see an animal with a broken leg.

I've always seen compassion as something worth striving for, and pity as appealing to my most repulsive tendencies.

The CEO said...

Echomouse, I am so glad that you took the time to look at his lecture. What made him amazing was that he did the lecture at all. You very correctly pointed out that he has already succeeded beyond most people's expectations, and he can be more content than most who never achieve as much as he has.

I also found his idea of the brick wall interesting in terms of valuing something. Yet I am pretty fed up with the medical billing companies who can waste huge volumes of my time with the threat of turning over my bill to a collection agency, even when the problem isn't mine. This is an unnecessary brick wall.

I also decided to look into the discussion between you and Bruce, and the good doctor about compassion and pity. The doc says "don't pity me" and also points out that he's in better shape than most people in the room. Except perhaps for the 10 or so tumors in his pancreas, which makes him in worse shape than anyone else in the room.

Bruce, I understood the distinction you made between pity and compassion because of your discussion. But I, and the dictionary, consider them to be synonyms. I put them below. I think that what the good doc meant was please, no show of compassion, I want to maintain as much of a regular life for as long as I can because the end of pancreatic cancer isn't pretty.

Compassion. n. Sympathetic, sad concern for someone in misfortune: commiseration, condolence, empathy, pity, sympathy. See pity.

pit·y (pĭt'ē) pronunciation
n., pl. -ies.

1. Sympathy and sorrow aroused by the misfortune or suffering of another.
2. A matter of regret: It's a pity she can't attend the reception.