Friday, July 23, 2010

Lessons from "The Last Lecture"

While cleaning up the house, I found our copy of Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture." He was the professor who got terminal cancer and gave an inspiring talk at his college as a way for his young children to remember him.
Sunday is the second anniversary of his death.
He grew up in my hometown and his mom taught English at my high school (I didn't have her as a teacher, however).
I really enjoyed the part of his book where he remembered the first lunar landing in 1969. He loved talking about reaching your childhood dreams, and found inspiration from the Apollo project.
"I understand the arguments about how the billions of dollars spent to put men on the moon could have been used to fight poverty and hunger on Earth. But, look, I'm a scientist who sees inspiration as the ulitimate tool for doing good.
"When you use money to fight poverty, it can be of great value, but too often, you're working at the margins. When you're putting people on the moon, you're inspiring all of us to achieve the maximum of human potential, which is how our greatest problems will eventually be solved." 
Randy reached for the stars and Star Trek. It's a great read, two years after publication.

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