Randy P: An Inspiration for All

November 25, 2008
By Jacqueline Quidort, Mechanicsburg, PA

Randy P. was a professor of Computer Science and Human Computer Interactions at Carnegie Mellon University before he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He was told that he only had a few months left to live on earth with his three young children and wife. Randy P., given only a few months to live, was not depressed, for he had faith to pull him through, and the truth that he would be rewarded in heaven. He was asked to give a lecture for the “Last Lecture Series” that professors at Carnegie Mellon often give “to offer reflections on their personal and professional journeys.” His lecture was inspirational to everyone who saw it.

Randy P. searched for what made him unique. The fact that he was a husband, father, friend, and professional did not make him unique. What made him unique was that fact that he accomplished his childhood dreams, something that not many achieve. He decided to title his Last Lecture, or Journey, as it was renamed, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” In his lecture that has become a phenomenon on YouTube, with over 7,000,000 viewers, Randy P. spoke about his love for life. He lectured on why he was not depressed but rather content on the life he lived, for he lived well and accomplished his childhood dreams. The reason he gave the lecture: as taken from his book, The Last Lecture, “I have a chance here to really think about what matters most to me, and to do whatever good I can on the way out.” Randy P. is an inspiration to me because of his wisdom about life, for Randy P. lived by strong morals and faith. I would like to imitate the zest that Randy had for life. He lived everyday like it was his last, something that everyone should do. He believed that no job was ever beneath him, the idea of telling the truth, and optimism. Even though Randy had a lot to lose by dying at such a young age, he was happy for everything that he did have and the time that God had given him. Randy died on July 25, 2008, leaving this world with wisdom from the way he lived his life.

In conclusion, I admire Randy P., as many do, because of how he lived his life, with optimism and happiness, despite what obstacles he was given. Though he knew he was dying, he was prepared (as much as anyone could be) because of the way he lived: living everyday as though it was his last. Randy P. is an example to all on how to live life. He lived by faith, and is therefore a modern day saint.

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