I enjoy reading books that you know it’ll stay with you as a lifelong lesson. For instance, “Tuesdays with Morrie” is still one of my favourite reads after all these years. Currently I’m halfway through “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch, which has been on the top selling list for a period of time. To briefly give a background information on the book, it was written by Randy Pausch who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (pretty much a death sentence, he passed away at 47). He wanted to leave a legacy for his young children and to share his life lessons since he knew he didn’t have many days left to do so.
In the earlier part of the book (which I’m currently at), he talked alot about family and his upbringing. I see alot of my own mom and dad in his writing. Family values is very important to me and I could see the importance it was to him as he shared stories about his own family and recalling his childhood. He wrote about how the encyclopedia was his best friend and how his parents made him search for his own answers. Similarly, the dictionary/encyclopedia is often found at our dining table because Daddy Mak does not believe in spoon-feeding. If I were to point out what my family spends on most, it would be books.
Professor Randy Pausch also mentioned about the freedom that his father gave him as a child, to draw on his bedroom walls etc. My family is considered as a “traditional Cantonese family” where respect and values are of utmost importance. If my dad says something is right, no one in the family will dare to say otherwise (ok, 80% of the time). Till this day, I still ask for my parent’s permission to head out (yes, I’m almost 23) and calls home before going home so that they won’t be worried about me. All my friends know how strict my dad is with me, especially when I’m the youngest daughter.I did grow up thinking that life is unfair and that my father is ridiculous (because of all his restrictions) but now that I’m alil more mature/grown up, I realized I am doing all these without being asked to. Not because it has become a habit (well, sort of) but more towards “I want to”, for I care about my family and how my parents would feel.
Nonetheless, I would say my dad gives me alot of freedom in terms of education/life in general. He supports creativity and often encourages me to do things that “normal parents” would not even think of. Like who feeds their daughters alcohol at the age of 5 ? Or share with you his Ouija board experiences and tells you all about sniffing glue etc. I think I have a pretty cool father and like Randy Pausch, I think there are just too many life lessons from him that’s waiting to be shared. I really learn to appreciate my dad more and my time with him after reading the book.
So there are 2 things that I take away from the book so far. One is gratitude in life, being thankful for the loved ones in life and those who has been there for me in my life – be it lending me a hand in discovering my dreams or sharing their wisdom. Two is the attitude towards life and how we perceive things. Who knows what might happen to us tomorrow but live the moment without any regrets ? Those who are losing faith out there, stay positive ! There are just too many negativity in life to put us down, sometimes you just need a good book to remind yourself of how lucky we all are.
Question : If you were to give your “last lecture” – what would your topic be about ?
I think I’ll talk about my family, in fact I was telling my dad that he should write a book on us. (haha) someone will have to translate it to English though ! (not me!)