We had a (Swiss) friend over for dinner last night and at some point after dessert, our conversation turned to the most shared video on Google Videos. I am not a big fan of YouTube or other online video sites, but he kept insisting we watch it--I think because he wanted to talk about it. The actual video is almost two hours long, so he found an abbreviated clip from when he spoke on Oprah (yes, I too rolled my eyes). But we watched the clip (about ten minutes long and I was in tears). Of course, we had to talk about the professor, who is dying of cancer. Our friend was commenting on what a uniquely American concept it was to look at something so hopeless and grim as death and be so upbeat and positive about it. He and M were talking about the French, whose favorite pastime seems to be complaining about something, anything. M was saying how, when he had first moved there, he felt left out when he didn't have anything to complain about. They didn't mean that Europeans were negative or depressed, but that their habit is to talk about things and 'complaining' until they get better conditions etc. And of course, they would never disclose something as private as their terminal illness to the world. Anyway, we talked for almost 2 hours about a 10 minute video clip.
Today, I watched the full 'Last Lecture'. I cried like a baby.
I obviously have never met Dr. Pausch, but feel a great deal of admiration for a man who can live his life with so much sincere enthusiasm, optimism and energy. He has inspired people and 'achieved great' things, as much for his influence on people and the loyalty he has inspired as for the work he has done.
I don't know if you'll have patience to watch the whole thing--but I found it to be quite inspiring (despite the Oprah endorsement).