Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Secular Prophet

The Wall Street Journal has an op-ed piece, in today's edition, on Steve Jobs titled "The Secular Prophet." It's required reading for all those intrigued by the magic of Jobs' impact on consumer behavior and our society:

In the piece, the writer, Andy Crouch, picked up the following excerpt from Jobs' acclaimed commencement piece at Stanford in 2005. This is what Jobs had to say about death, knowing of his initial cancer diagnosis in 2003:

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's 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's quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."

As Crouch went on to write, Jobs' was not the first to articulate this vision of a meaningful life. What Jobs did was to give us hope in the cold comfort of technology and, in the process, kept hope alive. Need proof? Look no further than the outpouring of affection (see all of the public sentiments voiced on Facebook) for a man that few knew personally, but all knew through the impact that he'd had on their lives.

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