The world lost a true visionary yesterday. The news has been everywhere. My entire Twitter stream was flooded with adoration, my Facebook feed filled with surprise and sadness, the morning radio playing clips from old speeches, the news channels busting into baseball playoff games to make an important announcement. All filled with respect and a sense of loss.
But then, I saw a few comments that made me irritated. One person posted “RIP for the children that died of famine in Africa.” Another person posted about how no other cancer victims that die today, tomorrow, the next day, will be talked about on Facebook and how sad that is. And while I get the point – one life is no more or less valuable than any other life – I still find the comments to be in bad taste because they don’t get the point everyone else is trying to express: That this man was extraordinary. It’s not about this death. Dying is not extraordinary. It’s about the life he lived, and the realization that it is over.
Steve Jobs changed the way we use technology, the way we listen to music, the way we watch movies (nod to Pixar), the way we communicate with each other, and the way we operate business. His inventions have touched the lives of so many people around the world, either directly or indirectly. He followed his dreams and he created things that people didn’t even know they wanted – yet once we saw it, we instantly needed it. It’s like my husband said, he’s our modern day Thomas Edison.
More than that though, he’s the embodiment of inspiration. When I think of Steve Jobs, I think of a man that created a technology empire. Apple fans are very adamant about their products and it’s almost like a cult following. He’s admired by CEOs around the world – even his competitors.
I read a blog post today by a woman with a son that’s in kindergarten. Her son has adored Steve Jobs for a long time. She even refers to Jobs as “Apple’s Dumbledore.” For all intents and purposes, Steve Jobs is this boy’s hero. Imagine her heartbreak at having to tell yesterday’s news to her son. I nearly cried reading it. I read another post, about her son learning of Jobs’ resignation as CEO and there was a line in there that explained it perfectly. Why it’s not only okay, but imperative that we recognize, respect, and honor a great life:
“Because without dreamers like him today, there would be no inspiration for the dreamers of tomorrow.”