Farewell, Steve

I’m writing this post in black in mourning. It is by now of public knowledge that Steve Jobs, former Apple CEO and co-founder, passed away on October 5th. In the era of technology, it was only natural that most of us got the news via a technological device that exists —to some extent— thanks to Steve. Although everybody knew that Steve had been fighting a rare kind of pancreatic cancer for years, the news of his decease came as a shock to most and brought world-wide grief.

  Journalists all over the world are wondering why Steve’s passing made  such a global impact, especially in people who never got the chance to  meet him. Maybe the answer is —at least in most cases— that the gadgets that Steve helped create have changed our lives in a way we couldn’t have dreamed of. Indeed, he was a visionary and a great leader.  Although  many people claim that as Steve dropped out of college in an  early stage all the  engineering work was performed by others —like co-  founder Woz— and therefore Steve doesn’t deserve much of a credit, the  truth is that many of the ideas came from him and if Apple ever got to be  more than just a two-partners-company in a garage, it was certainly  because of Steve’s  ambition and capacity of dreaming big, along with the assertive  personality of one who knew what he really wanted from life. Of course, everyone who’s ever worked for Apple deserves credit for its success, don’t get me wrong, I’m just saying Steve also does.

For those of us who have ever heard his speech for Standford‘s Commencement Address of 2005, Steve may be something more than just a billionaire businessman who changed the way we interact with reality. The first time I ever heard about Steve was precisely because of this speech. It turns out that my dad is the kind of father who is always pushing his kids to keep studying and developing their professional skills for life, and to make their professions their passion. Being so, he couldn’t let go the oportunity to show me Steve’s motivational speech. I don’t remember exactly the year it was —maybe April 2009—, but it was well after he actually delivered it. Anyway, the truths Steve expressed in the speech marked me deeply, as he striked me as a role model: someone who always knew what he wanted and struggled to get it, not giving up despite the many obstacles in his way. He also shared a belief with me: that if we ‘connect the dots’ in our lives, we see everything happens for a reason. You could really see how his personality was shaped by everything that happened to him, good and bad, changing his outlook on life and making him into a humble man with family values. I saw him as a man beaten by life from the very beginning who nevertheless strived to be happy and change the world. It’s true: he was neither a philanthropist nor a religious leader; he didn’t change that part of reality, but his contributions did change the way we relate to the world and our everyday habits, and that was exactly what he wanted to achieve. Since the very day I listened to his speech, I’ve tried to make my loved ones read it or listen to it, and I even picked it out when a teacher asked me to choose a famous speech to practise oratory. 

I’ve been meaning to write this homage to Steve since the very day he left us, but the truth is that I was deeply saddened by his departure, so much so that I even cried when I got the news and couldn’t help my eyes from filling with tears everytime I heard his speech all over again. Once in a while something happens in life or we meet someone that makes us realize why we are here for; that’s what Steve did for me with that speech and with the way he lived his own life. Thank you Steve Jobs for inspiring me to live fully and follow my heart, to live each day as if it was my last and to go on no matter what. I only hope I can someday embody these ‘purely intellectual concepts’ and practise what I preach, just like you did. I look up to you, metaphorically and now, sadly, literally as well. I can only imagine the pain your family must be going through, and I hope they can be strong enough to carry on with a smile as both the memory of you and every device you helped create stare at them. You’ll be missed, Steve, but I’ll make sure as both a prospective mother and a teacher that your words and story live on.  

I’m leaving you all Steve’s speech, in case you haven’t already listened to it. Love,

~* Princess of the Stars *~

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