When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

"Death is very likely the single best invention of Life"

Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea who Steve Jobs was. I've never owned any of his products. I heard stuff about him on TV programmes like the BBC's Click, and read about him on Twitter and Facebook. Then last night people started tweeting about "Steve" dying, and I asked "Steve who?" What was all the fuss about?

I'm only just realising what a clever, charismatic man he was. I like the sound of him, especially the fact that he did things his way, not the conventional way. This morning, I read a speech he made in 2005, and liked the sound of him even more. He mentions The Whole Earth Catalogue. I have a battered copy. Somewhere in there an anonymous person is quoted saying something like, "The trouble with being ahead of your time is that when people catch up with you, they'll say it was obvious all along." My path's ended up in a bit of a cul-de-sac, for reasons beyond my control, by my son has followed an unconventional path too, and I think it's the right one.

This is from Steve's speech:
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 is 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 is 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. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
All true.

After reading Christina Patterson's column today (17 December), I've noted that Jobs had feet of clay, like many clever and successful people. His words may have been inspiring but his actions were sometimes less so.

1 comment:

jamesmortonties said...
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