Blessings: The Immortality of Randy Pausch

Did you notice today that Google’s homepage has a small message at the bottom: In Memoriam Randy Pausch (1960-2008)?.

Last September 18th Randolph Frederick Pausch , an American professor at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, gave a lecture to about 400 students, faculty and friends about some life lessons he’d learned that became an internet sensation and a bestselling book.

“The lecture was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it, that is wonderful, but rest assured; I’m hardly unique.” Pausch wrote on his Web site.

July 25th , Pausch died at the age of 47 of complications from pancreatic cancer. The book “The Last Lecture” , translated into 30 languages , remains the nonfiction best-seller lists after its publication in April & inspired many to make their every interaction count. The book deal was reported to be worth more than $6 million. More than 4 Millions viewed the complete or abridged version of the lecture, titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” at Youtube. Pausch’s demise & last lecture sparked a buzz in the blogosphere.

Where’s the Buzz :Google Remembers Randy Pausch

I went to this GREAT overnight YMCA camp called Phantom Lake in Mukwanago, WI.  As at many good overnight camp – they loved their fireside stories… or their lakeside tales.  Some, I realize now, were cliche in their analogies and morals. 

Oh, Ripple Effect, how you are beloved as an analogy.

And yet… despite the fact it’s often used, I will always picture the placid, yet beautiful lake, the stars twinkling on the surface, and the power of one pebble.  As the director of the camp tossed the pebble into the water, hundreds of eyes watched ripples spread across the surf, but even more poetically – how a single stone was able to stir the stars so high in the heavens.

I don’t know about you, but my heart warms when I think of people like Randy Pausch, and in THAT… he becomes immortal, doesn’t he?  He was able to share something so simple, so sincere that thousands were inspired across a nation, and beyond…

If you have NOT seen Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” on youtube, or read his book, I beg you to do so… and then share it with others.  Many props to Google for their “remembrance” a few days ago with Pausch passed away. 

Pausch left behind a wife and young children.  My hope is that those young children are able to understand the type of hero their father was – he didn’t slay dragons, or rescue damsels, or defend nations, or conquer sports.  He told a story in a language so pure that the heart can’t help but hear and warm to… Whenever I doubt or worry – I turn to his work, and I’m set back on my path.

There’s a book by Salmon Rushdie that I can’t live without called “Haroun and the Sea of Stories.”  That book planted the notion of ocean – the power of stories – in my soul.  It’s a once-in-a-life-time gift to have the ability to tell a tale as Pausch did, and with it, he touched the stars.

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