When I was in high school, my father surprised me with a real treat. He rented an Apple IIe for the summer so I could type out my novel on a real computer, save it on discs, and print out as many copies as I wanted. If I made a mistake, all I had to do was hit the delete key. What a luxury! This was in the olden days, kids, when very few people had home computers, discs were the size of dinner plates, and if you wanted more than one copy of a document, chances were you used something called carbon paper, which left black smudges on everything and necessitated the invention of another now-obsolete product–Wite-Out.
After my summer with the Apple IIe, I was hard-pressed to return to the typewriter. I’d never heard of Steve Jobs back then, but from the time I was fifteen years old, he was making a difference in my life. Today, the way I listen to music, the laptop I covet, and probably dozen of other things I’m not even aware of were directly influenced by him.
Until the man passed away, I had no idea that he was more quotable than Mark Twain. All day long, social media outlets have been flooded with his words–words that are more brilliant and perceptive than most. How sad that we lost such a great thinker at such a young age (and yes, kids, 56 is young–you will find out soon enough).
Beyond his gift for innovation and his skill with words, I love that he was a champion for the rebel, the dreamer, the kid at the back of the classroom who is always getting in shit for not following the rules. I was that kid, and I can tell you firsthand that creativity isn’t often appreciated in a world where we’re expected to color in the lines and follow the leader. But maybe, with more people like Jobs blazing a trail, creative people will start being seen as a solution instead of a problem. I sincerely hope so, because–take it from me–sitting in the corner is not a fun experience.
If we can learn anything from Steve Jobs’s life and all-too-soon passing, perhaps it is this: life is short. Make yours count.