The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon and was asked to give this lecture, when he was diagnosed with cancer and given months to live, he decided to give the lecture anyway. You can find the full lecture here, if you’re interested in watching it.
One of my friends was reading this and recommended it very highly to me. I read it, I loved it, and I got so angry about it.
I read finished reading this book two weeks ago, but it took me a while to think about what I wanted to say because Randy’s death was so senseless and unnecessary to me. I know people wonder what I mean, because cancer’s cancer, and how can you avoid it?
Almost all of us know or have known someone who has had cancer, maybe some of us have or had cancer ourselves. Many of us believe that it’s just luck, we get cancer, or we don’t. It’s not luck, and cancer can be avoided and reversed.
My uncle died of esophageal cancer, my aunt died of pancreatic cancer, when I was 19, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, my cousin was diagnosed with the same five years ago, so I’m no stranger to cancer.
Not to mention, after my father’s brother died of esophageal cancer, my father devoted his life to learning more about alternative health, and spent many years looking for answers. He has since helped dozens of people who have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and other chronic illnesses. After being diagnosed with cancer myself, I also started studying more about alternative health treatments, and I learned a lot of things.
I don’t want to go on a soapbox, but I do think that more people need to know that cancer can be cured. Cancer *has* been cured, and most effectively through diet. If you or someone you love has cancer, read The China Study to understand more; the solution is so simple that so many people find it hard to believe.
About The China Study
In the book, T. Colin Campbell, the author of the book, has scientific research that shows cancer can be turned on and off, simply by adding or taking away meat protein from the diet. Basically, having a certain amount of meat protein in your diet can turn cancer on, and taking it off your diet turns it off.
I’m simplifying it, but you can get all the details you need from the book. My review for the book was written 8 years ago, so please forgive that it’s not very well-written, but you can definitely research the book, the doctor who wrote it, the many documentaries that feature it, and what people have to say about it.
Of course, you should probably read the book for yourself too.
What makes me angry is that this information has been out there for so many years, and so many alternative health practitioners have had such huge success with treating cancer through diet, yet the information is still being suppressed by the medical industry. They can’t make money off of this, and some people refuse to believe in it because it’s been ingrained into them that what you eat doesn’t matter.
What nonsense. Of course what we eat matters, it’s where we get the nutrients for our own bodies.
Anyway, I really didn’t want to get on my soapbox, but there you go.
Back to The Last Lecture
I just felt really angry because while I admire Randy Pausch so much, from reading about his attitude and the views he wrote about in his book, there was one part where he talked about how when he was diagnosed he asked the doctor tons of questions, so that he might learn more about the disease. He said that he was the kind of person who wanted to know all there is to know, so that he might be able to see all his options, perhaps find a solution for himself.
And I was like, why didn’t you look towards the alternative health community? Why did you put all your trust in allopathic medicine? I mean, whether you believe in diet and nutrition or not, it certainly couldn’t have hurt to try it. At that point, what have you got to lose?
Okay, really, back to The Last Lecture
The book was great. It was amazing. I loved all the stories Randy shared about his life and the lessons he learned. I cried so much towards the end, I cried a lot throughout the book. If you can get past all my anger at how unnecessary his death was, perhaps you’ll be able to see how much I really loved this book.
I read the book and I wanted to meet him and hug him, and I got even angrier that I couldn’t because he’s dead. Still, I’m glad he wrote the book. I’m glad he gave us something of himself before he died. His kids will have something of him; something they can cherish and remember.
Review by Tarot
Okay, this isn’t really a review by tarot, it’s just the tarot card that I feel represents Randy Pausch best. And also this book, because this book is pretty much the representation that Randy Pausch had chosen for himself.
The Hierophant as depicted in the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.
The Hierophant is a teacher, someone who teaches his wisdom and experience to others, someone who is looked up to. I think Randy was all that, and I think this book is an extension of that.
I learned a lot from this book, there’s so much of himself that he’d shared with us. Not just empty words of wisdom, but actual experiences he’d lived through, mistakes he’d made, the feelings he felt, everything he loved.
This is a beautiful book.
My Rating: 5/5