yesterday’s news was full of the death of Steve Jobs, the face and imagination behind Apple. Today’s news is full of reflections on him and his contributions. One of the things I just read (via Flipboard on a iPad, btw) was a reflection entitled “Why We Mourn Steve Jobs” in Atlantic Monthly that ended with an interesting quote by Jobs:
Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
It’s an interesting quote, which maybe draws one to linger a little longer in light of the recent death of the person who said it.
What are your thoughts on what he had to say? I think if you see yourself as “the new” it might be easy to embrace the thought as you think about your own personal run-ins with the face of “old”: the slow driver, the resistance to change, the confused, the ailing, the grumpy. But what if you’re sensing you’re farther removed from “the old” than you once were or hoped to be? How does viewing yourself as “the old” change how you view your life, your purpose, your time left? Does it frighten you? Does is push you to find meaning? Does it cause you to be an agent of change? Does it inspire you to help “the new”?
What if you are “the new”? Knowing you’re on your way to “the old” – how does that change things?
In Jobs’ famous commencement speech at Stanford in 2005, he said: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
He was talking to “the new”, but this challenge is universally applicable. It’s just as relevant to “the old.”
He also said, “you’ve got to find what you love,” which I think goes hand in hand with the challenge.
What are your thoughts on your time, your love, your contribution? your frailty? your purpose?