|Posted by Karen M. Wyatt on October 6, 2011 at 10:45 AM|
The world was stunned yesterday by the announcement of the passing of Steve Jobs, just one day after Apple unveiled the new iPhone 4S; and I can already feel that the planet is a bit colder and darker with the extinguishing of his brilliant fire of inspiration.
Not a day goes by that I don’t marvel at the amazing capabilities of my iPhone (and I still just have the 3G!) or experience gratitude for my MacBook Pro that receives the creative effluence of my brain, translates it into digital content and emanates it to the web-iverse.
Steve Jobs has changed life on this planet in ways that will resonate for centuries to come by helping us network and connect, which is just the beginning of the transformation that is necessary to save us all. He will be mourned by many, emulated by some and missed by everyone, because his work here is not finished. There is so much more to be done.
While Steve has transitioned on to whatever realm lies beyond this existence, we are left behind with our questions and qualms. Why does someone who has used his life energy to contribute so much innovation – and undoubtedly could have brought us even more – why does a person with that much potential die at such a relatively young age?
It seems wrong to us that this has happened. There is no rational explanation for the twists and turns of our mortality and no one of us would ever write a script like this. But the question that lingers in my mind is this: did Death cut short the brilliance of Steve Jobs? Or was Death responsible for creating his brilliance in the first place?
And Steve himself has given the answer to that question. In 2005, one year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he stated during the commencement address at Stanford University:
"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
And that, my friends, is the central message of the life and death of Steve Jobs. What if each one of us could remember in every moment that life is fleeting, that there is no time to waste? What brilliance would each of us spark if we staked our energy on being creative in this moment, right now, rather than waiting for the future to arrive? What if we each followed our heart and knew we had nothing to lose?
Yes, the life of Steve Jobs was too short and his work was not finished. But the responsibility lies now with each and every one of you who has been touched by his genius: throw away your pride and your fear of embarrassment and failure and bring to life your own creative genius. Do it now because you too are going to die. Your life will also be cut short and you will want to be, like Steve Jobs, a flame that burns as brightly as possible until the very last moment.
Thank you, Steve, for teaching us this final illuminating lesson. We will carry on what you have brought to this planet and continue the work of connecting and creating that you have only just started – it is the least we can do to honor your memory and celebrate your Life … and Death … of brilliance.