There are those people that continue to inspire us with their words even after they are gone. Their inspiration words can be found on plaques, posters, walls. We place them on our desks, write them on cards and hang them on walls to remind us to be better than we were yesterday.
Some of my favorite ones are watching the Steve Jobs Stanford 2005 graduation speech, and the John F. Kennedy "We choose to go to the moon" speech at Rice University, 1962. But I would like to write here about the Randy Pausch Last Lecture speech, which is tender, inspirational, sad and funny for me all at the same time.
If you have not seen the clip, Randy tenderly admits that he is dying of pancreatic cancer, makes light of the situation, but also has multiple messages that he would like everyone to hear before he leaves. The thing that always moves me is his openness to his sickness, his reality of the situation, the limited time and the genuine love for helping all humanity with these messages:
- Take advantage of every day because you never know if it is going to be your last.
- Leave something behind for others to remember you by (not talking something negative here!)
- My favorite: FIND YOUR PASSION AND FOLLOW IT. WHAT FUELS YOU FROM THE INSIDE?
- The things that you leave behind are not important. It is what people think of you after you are gone that is important.
I think I need to put some of these inspirational messages on Sticky Notes around my desk to help me on those tough days. To remind me to be patient and understanding with students and colleagues. To remind me that it is not always how much I did, but instead what I did and with whom. Thank you Randy, for leaving these messages behind for me to remember and grow from!