The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture


Randy Pausch

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The Last Lecture: Chapter 44 Summary & Analysis

Not long after Randy gets tenure at the University of Virginia, he takes his whole fifteen-person research team to Disney World as a thank you. A fellow professor pulls Randy aside and asks how he could possibly do that, to which Randy replies that these people worked hard for him, so how could he not do it. Randy says the Disney trip was gratitude easily delivered, as it was an experience he could share with people he cared about. Not everyone is so easily thanked, though, like Randy’s mentor Andy Van Dam—nothing Randy can do will adequately pay him back. So, Randy says, he just has to pay that forward, and Randy often advises people to “Go out and do for others what somebody did for you.”
Going out and doing for others what somebody did for you is a prime example of Randy advising people to not be entitled about their accomplishments. Randy believes that being honest with other people and teaching them about their flaws is another way to show gratitude for the people who helped him, as mentoring students and giving tough feedback is, for Randy, an example of passing down a crucial lesson Andy van Dam gave to him.
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