Steve Jobs and Others Pass

The “Today Show” began the other morning with almost eerie music. At the same time a picture of Steve Jobs appeared. The CEO of Apple died the day before. It was a sad time in some ways, but in other ways, the whole thing aggravated me. Yes, Steve Jobs changed the American culture, perhaps, more than any other modern day individual. After all, the brand name Apple rolls off the tongues of most everyone in this country. More astonishing, millions of us have iPods, iPads, and iPhones. They are the toys that most intrigue us, and for years we’ve paid out loads of cash to obtain them. I ordered my first iPhone yesterday after I dropped my Blackberry and shattered the screen. I wanted this new phone because it is much like the iPod I already own and has to be easier to use than the cursed phone with tiny buttons and an unfriendly roller. Jobs also offered thousands, maybe millions, employment. Not only are 47,000 workers at the Apple Corporation receiving paychecks but untold numbers also make livings by selling those products from the company. Even in tough economic times, millions of Apple products are sold, and because of the iPod, a whole new business exploded with the beginnings of iTunes. Jobs sent shockwaves through the educational world by proving that college isn’t necessarily the answer for every individual. He dropped out and then began building empires at Apple and Pixar, and at the time of his death, his total wealth is estimated to be $7 billion. He showed us all that drive, raw intelligence, and creativity can be developed outside the classroom. Thinking of life without such a great mind might make us wonder if new gadgets the same quality of those at Apple will be forthcoming. Who will pick up the slack? The answer is that this country produces plenty of geniuses, and surely one can be every bit as successful as Jobs. It must have been a slow news day for the networks. How else can the coverage of Jobs’ death be explained. Usually, somber music playing as photo of an individual, along with birth and death dates, fill the screen is reserved for national leaders. However, when the “Today” show began, Jobs’ face appeared and Matt Lauer spoke in an almost worshipping tone. I get the importance of the man’s passing, but was such a fuss justified? The fact is that approximately 70,000 people die each day. They succumb to various diseases, accidents, or wars. They leave families in pain, and many times those who are left behind have little or no financial support on which to live, not to mention to bury the deceased. The news never mentions the vast majority of those who have died unless they have done so at the hands of murderers or in high profile accidents. No, most of us who pass do so quietly. We aren’t mourned by the world, nor are we recognized by the media for our contributions to this world during our time here. Jobs’ passing is a loss for all of us. So are the deaths of all who are on this earth. All persons are products of a creator, and as such, they are special. We lose a piece of God each time an individual passes. The point is that no one, not Steve Jobs, not Elvis, not Abraham Lincoln, is more precious than another. We all stand on equal footing as children of the same father. So, no one’s passing should be deemed more of a loss than others. The fault for this isn’t Jobs’. It’s the way business sell papers or air television shows.


June said...

I am often heard to say when much ado is made about the death of a famous person-every second someone loses someone, and the pain is no less great because said someone is not famous. The media overdoes most everything, and sadly many fall for it. Thanks for your blog and some common sense.

drmom said...

I agree with much of what you said, but when I view his accomplishments through the eyes of the generation behind us, teenagers and twenty-somethings, I understand better the to-do. In my house we have 5 Macs, 2 iPhones (None of them mine), several ipods, an iPad (again, not mine), and copies of all the Disney/Pixar movies. The impact of his ideas on my children's lives and those of their friends is tremendous.