On Wednesday, October 5, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away after long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.
I am no Mac head and the first “I” device I purchased was in 2010, after days of careful consideration. I was not really sure an iPod would make any difference in my life or that I needed it. After I got it, I converted to the cult of “I” and couple of months later got an iPhone4-which is now my lifeline. Though I don’t plan to get MacBook Air or an iPad anytime soon and still have good relationship with my PC.
I respect and admire the genius of Steve Jobs and how he managed to profoundly change course of so many industries in his short life.
Since I am just a regular admirer, his death should have come has a disappointment but not a blow. But I am surprised how deeply it has affected me.
I didn’t know this man personally and on the fanboy scale I have the lowest score- just another “I” enthusiast, and yet the news of his passing has me on a deep funk, questioning life, death and the things in between.
A man so loved, admired and who gave us so much, was taken away so soon. And here I am and there you are. We are here. Not sure about you, but I don’t see my life as having any meaning or consequence beyond my immediate family and friends. When I die, I will be mourned and forgotten. My work and my mark, will get erased in matter of days.
Why I am still here and Jobs and many more like him whose life has touched so many are gone?
Life and death are random and most often don’t make sense. My life and a truly consequential life- they are the same to nature. There is no difference, we are equal.
This randomness of life is a great equalizer. It is unfair too.
Sure, everyone has to die, and you can never control that ultimate truth; but if I can mess up and still be on the same level as hundreds of other great individuals, how unfair! Their hard work and my mess are equal?
Life and death ignoring ones’ contribution and service, don’t you want to question why then should I work hard or be a better person? I do.
Perhaps, this unfair randomness of life makes people believe in afterlife. They hope that someday, even after death, their work will get them somewhere better. They can’t accept that their deeds start here and end here, and don’t carry forward.
Since I don’t believe in after life or heaven, I see the situation like this. Life is not fair and at the end nothing matters; but when you are alive it makes all the difference. Your work, your deeds- they matter today, tomorrow, as long as you are alive. Forget about greatness and keeping your name alive, do what you have to, in a honorable fashion and thats all.
Death will come eventually, and you will not be asked your net worth or your position. You are just you. So be yourself, fulfill yourself and follow yourself.
Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.
Written on my iPhone4.