Thursday, September 27, 2007

The lecture.

Mr. Lim has been a turning point of sorts. It cured me of regrets and remorse. The memories are far too precious to be wasted on them.

The experience that sealed it up was the last lecture of Dr. Randy Pausch. To use the oft repeated cliche, words don't do justice. It's an experience, and I would urge you to watch it.

It's easy to be scared of death. It's easy to live mediocre lives. But to be able to look back and say, in this life, I have been able to achieve all that I wanted to do, I have been able to get all that I desired, that needs something. Don't we all want lives like that?

I had a friend argue with me that he is not impressed with the speech of Dr. Pausch. He's white, rich, educated, American, smart, born with the privileges. There are many others who have done it, face cancer, face death, and yet keep their courage. "What's the big deal? Let him be an African", he said, "Have kids with malnutrition .. live in a country torn by civil war... then we will talk about his contribution"

It's so easy to be cynical. At the expense of sounding crude, if a person with one leg manages to get from point A to point B, would it be right to undermine his achievement by saying "What's the big deal? A person with no legs has managed to do the same."

Probably the reason why we are starved of heroes. Because we refuse to believe. I agree that many others have done it. Bad example, but didn't millions eat spinach before Popeye did?

Touching the lives of millions and setting an example needs courage. To do so in the face of death, even more so. This is what a teacher would do: communicate, in no uncertain terms, the lessons learnt, and provide a structure for the path ones life should take.

I am a changed person.

--
PS: Comp Science people should be able to recognize Andries van Dam. Remember the big fat book of CG?

3 comments:

Yodha said...

I haven't yet seen the Pausch lecture. But, I was deeply touched and changed the day I read Steve Job's Stanford commencement speech. Especially the part where he talks about death.

Especially the parts "Death is very likely the single best invention of Life." ... "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."

The Jobs video should be on YouTube. (If you haven't seen it, that is.)

Mo said...

I have read the Jobs speech, haven't watched it though. Videos have a totally different impact. Will watch it as soon as I find it.

It's strange that thoughts of death give us perspective on life.

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