Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What Would You Say?

A few days ago, on Good Morning, America (GMA), I listened to a segment about Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who is dying of pancreatic cancer. As a parting project, Mr. Pausch gave a lecture entitled “How To Live Your Childhood Dreams.” In it, he recounted his forty-six-year life journey and the lessons he has learned. At the end of his talk, Mr. Pausch admitted that the lecture wasn’t so much for his audience, or for those of us who have now seen parts of his presentation in the mass media; it was for his three children who, sadly, will not get the opportunity to develop a relationship with their father. To watch Professor Pauch’s entire lecture, click here.

Being the wife of a cancer survivor, I have often heard about people who leave an “ethical will,” a common term for this type of life documentation. A good definition of it came through my e-mail awhile back as a message from Dr.
Unlike typical wills, which disperse money and goods and are often stiff, dry epistles of lawyer-speak, an ethical will is a written distillation of beliefs, values, principles, life lessons, personal observations, hopes, and dreams.
Mr. Pausch recorded his “ethical will” as a lecture; some people write a book; others keep a journal. I know a woman from my Bible Study Fellowship days who recorded these types of thoughts in a Bible that she used during class, a new Bible for each year of study, a special Bible kept specifically for a designated child or grandchild. That way, she could tailor the lessons to the personality of the selected individual.

So, if you were to create an “ethical will,” what would you say? What advice would you dispense on the lessons learned in life? Have you actually lived your childhood dreams? Do you even remember what they are/were?

Just some thoughts for the blogosphere on yet another busy day. Leave your ideas as a comment, if you wish. Otherwise, meditate on it for yourself and maybe start your own version of an “ethical will.” A younger generation is waiting for your wisdom.

No comments: