Saturday, October 08, 2011

Late to the Wake . . .

Steve Jobs Proffers Apple

My friend Bill Vallicella has already posted this passage from the 2005 Stanford commencement address by Steve Jobs, but I recall being impressed when I first read it back in 2005, so I'm posting it anyway:
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.
That photo above can serve as an ironic memento mori, an iconic image of a young, healthy Jobs proffering an apple, the logo of his brand before the bite has been taken, before we realize that we are mortal, naked . . . except that from where we stand, we now know for certain the radical contingency of life. I'm late to the wake, but here I stand, knowing that I'll be on time for my own.

I would say, "Requiescat in Pace, Steve," but that somehow doesn't seem to fit a relentlessly restless man like Mr. Jobs, so I'll instead echo his own words and say, "Wherever you are, man, 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.'"

Oh, just one more thing: "So long, and thanks for all the Apples . . ."

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At 4:51 AM, Blogger dhr said...

"... And saw that it was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise..."

At 4:59 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Stay a wisely foolish sophomore, develop a kind of learnéd ignorance . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:07 AM, Blogger dhr said...

will try to, and even sopho(s) more than that.

or: don't worry, be happle!


At 5:25 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Don't scurvy, be apfelsinensafty . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:11 AM, Blogger Hathor said...

You are the few that have used that part of his speech.
He fought and managed to live another 6 years.

At 4:10 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I recall being struck at the time by the wisdom of his words, but I wish that I'd taken them more to heart back in 2005.

Or thirty years ago, if I could have known of them then, but most of my lessons have been learned late in my life.

Jeffery Hodges

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