Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bucket List

Last night, at the suggestion of my great aunt, we watched the Prime Time Special highlighting Randy Pausch. Pausch, 47, has pancreatic cancer, a terminal disease. So far he has defied the odds, but the cancer has spread to his liver. His prognosis is poor.

Pausch, a professor at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, isn't about dying, however. He's about living. Living for his wife and their three young children. Living a good life as long as he can.

Watching it I remembered reading Tuesdays with Morrie with my high school students. We talked about people who have made a profound difference in our lives—someone who changed our lives, made us think more deeply, set our feet on the right path. For some it was a teacher we met in a classroom, but it could just have easily been a coach, a youth group leader, a family or community elder, or religious leader. Then I asked my students to write a tribute to such a teacher, someone who has taught them an important lesson that they still remember.

The best lessons are the life lessons, you know.

Morrie didn't have to meet with his former student week after week and Pausch knew that he could cancel his "last lecture" but here's why he did it: "... by speaking, I knew I could put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe..."

Isn't that why so many of us do the things that we do? Things that we don't want to do. We do them any way. Compelled by love.

Here were the life lessons of this lecture...

Always Have Fun

Dream Big

Ask for What You Want

Dare to Take a Risk

Look for the Best in Everybody

Make Time for what Matters

Let the Kids Be Themselves

In the course of this lecture he also shared some of his childhood dreams - some of which people have made come true for him. It made me think. I still have time. Where were my childhood dreams? I still have time to make those come true. What can I do today to help me realize those dreams?

So what are your childhood dreams?

We all know that death is eminent. Very few have ever esacped it. Virtually every one goes through it. It is a rare person who actually knows how much time they have left. My step-uncle - if there is such at thing - knows that he has less than a year. The doctors told him that yesterday. My own father was told 3 years ago that he'd be lucky to see another Christmas with the Conjestive Heart Failure he's got...time is precious.

What am I going to look back on when I hear my times up? How will I feel about the time I've spend? What life lessons will I have taught my children?

Write down five things that you would like to do during your life. Ask your loved ones to do the same and then share with each other. What can you do to help each other make those dreams come true?

A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams. Author Unknown
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