Steve Jobs and Death

At a Stanford University commencement speech in 2005, Steve Jobs stated:

“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.”

It is true. We all — good and bad — suffer the same fate, death. We all prefer life though. Even those of us who believe in heaven don’t hurry to die to get there.

We are entwined with each other in our humanness. Flesh to flesh — heart to heart. Something tugs the strings that connect us when death’s breath hovers over or breathes on someone we love.

“You are already naked …” Sorry Steve, I disagree. We aren’t naked. Rare is the person who is real — who doesn’t hide behind words or actions. Rare is the person who doesn’t have something that they don’t want revealed.

Even if we live as if we were going to die tomorrow, no one wants their frailties exposed for fear of judgment by other people whose frailties are possibly worse than theirs.

I understand your premise — live your life, be true to yourself. All good in words. But in reality, we struggle to be real.

I hope you attained your sense of belonging while you lived. I hope you reached the pinnacle of humanness. As we are entwined with each other, there has to be someone to reach that pinnacle with us, in order for us to truly live it — the realness, the nakedness.

Prayers ascend for your family’s loss — another human brother gone from this earth —

“… for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19




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