Be thankful for brick walls.
Many colleges and universities are sponsoring what they are calling "Last Lectures," inviting speakers to deliver what they would if they knew it was their last lecture. For one professor, the "last" part of "last lecture" is very real.
Jill Fallon has posted a must-see story and video, the "Last Lecture" of Randy Pausch, a 46-year-old Carnegie Mellon professor who is dying of pancreatic cancer, who has only weeks or months to live, who will leave his wife and three very young children behind. Among his lessons for us?
"Brick walls are there for a reason. They let us prove how badly we want things."
"Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you." Sometimes, he said, "it might even take years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting."
After showing photos of his childhood bedroom, decorated with mathematical notations he'd drawn on the walls, he said: "If your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let 'em do it." Don't worry about resale values, he said.
This is for my kids, he said at the end of his lecture. His wife and children, he said, "mean everything to me. They give a purpose to life and a depth of joy that no job [and I've had some of the most awesome jobs in the world] can begin to provide. I hope my wife is able to remarry down the line. And I hope they will remember me as a man who loved them, and did everything he could for them."
His lecture - and his way of dying - is really what 37days is all about. At some point in our lives, each one of us will only have 37 days to live.
[Thanks, Jill, for pointing me to this.]