In Honor of the Last Lecturer

"I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It's my personal approach that creates the climate. It's my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized."

- Haim Ginott

Randy Pausch, a terminally ill professor who inspired so many of us with his "Last Lecture", passed away Friday. He was 47.

Originally made for his three children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe, Professor Pausch encouraged us to achieve our childhood dreams with his final speech. Not surprisingly, it was also about helping others achieve their dreams as well.

As both teachers and parents, we are the decisive element in a child's life with our words, actions and even demeanor. With them we can easily empower or dis empower all those around us.....including ourselves. The weather we create with our daily moods causes dreams to grow or dreams to die.

These videos are in honor of Randy Pausch, a teacher who chose to use his tremendous power to be an instrument of inspiration. Here's to a person who will continue to humanize us, and his children, for many years to come.

This is from his website: April 17 2007:

an email I wanted to share...

Through all of this, I've tried very hard to stay positive, but it's very hard to know how one is really doing in situations like these. I received the following email, which gave me hope that - at least during the moment described - I am managing to enjoy life through all this...

... I happened to have been behind you for a few blocks as you were driving from campus last night (Monday). Before I recognized it was you, I found myself thinking, "Gee that guy is really enjoying the moment.....driving down the road on a warm, early spring evening, top down, wind blowing through his hair, with a smile on his face.....probably headed home to a wife and maybe a little one or two......that's the way to live life.". And then you turned left and I recognized it was you. I then found myself thinking, "It's Randy! He looks so happy! And, in this most private of public moments (alone in his car, yet on the road for anyone to observe), I can't imagine anyone who IS living life more. No one is more deserving!". Thanks for sharing your happiness/your life so fully with so many of us.......on campus and in your car. You can never know how that glimpse of you tonight made my day, reminding me of what life really is all about...

Here is a short clip that was shown on Oprah:

And here is his complete lecture:


Mastering Fear

We all go through moments when we simply feel we can't go any further...when it's just too hard to continue pursuing our dreams....in fact we wonder if it's going to kill us if we do.

But while we all go through this, and the bigger the dream the more often this will occur, we don't all make it through these moments alive. Some of us in a sense die, as we give up our dreams, reduce their scope, or pretend we didn't really want what our hearts were telling us we were put on this earth to do.....Perhaps even living long, yet unfulfilled lives.

This is sad, because it produces more unrealized potential in the world than it does powerful new realities.....ones just inches away......if they only could be held onto just a little bit longer.....believed in and visualized just a little bit stronger.......loved a little bit more passionately and intelligently into existence.......

Where defeats and exhaustion are seen as only temporary and are bountiful opportunities for insight and enlightenment into how to make these desired realities really come true.......

But what stops most of us from reaching that other universe where we are our happiest selves?

I think it's fear.........(and by the way, when we are pursuing our dreams with full gusto...we are our happiest selves....we are already in Nirvana....no matter what anyone else thinks.....no matter what anyone else does......Dream Big! You're going to die someday anyway....Die happy! Die proud!)