Vicarious learning, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch


the last lecture randy pausch great books to read life philosophy

What would you tell your grandchildren that you’ve never met?

Pausch’s playfully optimistic story of the last few months of his life explains beautifully and in a very heart felt way the exact kind of legacy he wanted to leave behind for his children and their children after that, whist simultaneously for readers, he evokes thoughtful observation of ones life and personal attitude.

His last lecture to the world is centered around achieving ones childhood goals – a lecture which leads to and spins off into various directions of incongruous stories, learnings and childhood memories with uncountable teachings throughout:

“When we send our kids to play organized sports…it’s not because we’re desperate for them to learn the intricacies of the sport.  What we really want them to learn is far more important: teamwork, perseverance  sportsmanship, the value of hard work, an ability to deal with adversity.  This kind of indirect learning is what some of us like to call a “head fake”…. the one that teaches people things they don’t realize they’re learning until well into the process” The best type of teachers teach you something without you realising that a lesson ever took place.

“The brick walls are there for a reason. They’re not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something” – A mantra that Pausch lived by. 

His father is an old traditional man who harbors kilos of respect from Pausch – for good reasons… “On April 11, 1945, my fathers infantry company was attacked by German forces, and in the early stages of battle, heavy artillery fire led to eight casualties. According to the citation: “With complete disregard for his own safety, Private Pausch leaped from a covered position and commenced treating the wounded men while shells continued to fall in the immediate vicinity. So successfully did this solider administer medical attention that all the wounded were evacuated successfully”. In recognition of this, my dad, then twenty-two years old, was issued with the Bronze Star for valor. In fifty years my parents were married, in the thousands of conversations my dad had with me, it just never came up. And so there I was, weeks after his death, getting another lesson from him about the meaning of sacrifice – and about the power of humility”

Finally.  I love that Pausch was a complete science computer geek. I LOVE that the most. More information can be found here:


randy_pausch_last_lecture giant bears


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