Book Review: The Last lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture
Randy Pausch
Hyperion; 1st edition (April 8, 2008)

I have heard of the book, I actually watched the video, but it was only about a month ago that I actually read the book and I was deeply touched by it.

It is true what they say; the book is usually better than the movie… I suspect that part of the reason for that is that while reading, you are an active participant as opposed to a passive observer, but as usual, I digress.

Respectfully, I think that a number of negative reviews at the “-azon” site are missing the point. This book was never intended to be a literary masterpiece or a philosophical account of novel deep truths. It is what it is (as much as I do not like that phrase), some thoughts that a seemingly loving father and husband expresses in the face of a terminal illness. These thoughts included reminiscences about his life and his hopes, dreams and fears for his family. I realize that it has quite a bit of autobiographical details, which look like a “list of achievements”, but, can you blame him?

I, for one, cannot blame him or dare to judge him for trying to express himself. I can relate up to a certain point. Thankfully, I do not have a terminal illness, but I have known the fear of uncertainty and I have experienced the state of mind that such fear triggers in your soul. You really do not think of yourself. You think about your loved ones. and I am really grateful that I can still be with my loved ones, as I am grateful that my kids are pretty much grown and will remember me when I am gone (narcissistic and a tad selfish, yes; heartfelt, you bet!).

A couple of favorite lines:

“When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a bad place to be.”

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”

Credit: Hyperion

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  1. If you ever get out to Pittsburgh, visit CMU. The campus is hilly and there is a bridge named after Randy Pouch. Cross it and look at the detail in the artwork on its sides.

    You will smile.


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