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  • Paul Hurst 4:51 pm on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cancer, christ, , death, eulogy, faith, imac, , , , , mona, simpson, , words, wow   

    In Medias Res… 

    “Some boat builders in the Netherlands have a gorgeous stainless steel hull ready to be covered with the finishing wood. His three daughters remain unmarried, his two youngest still girls, and he’d wanted to walk them down the aisle as he’d walked me the day of my wedding.We all — in the end — die in medias res. In the middle of a story. Of many stories.”

    These moving words were spoken by Mona Simpson as part of her Eulogy for her Brother, Steve Jobs.  Steve Jobs designed, pioneered and invented many products that people use all around the world, the iPad, iPhone and iMac all products from his company, Apple.

    Steve found out that he had Cancer in 2003 and although his health obviously deteriorated, to his credit, he still died ‘In the middle of something’.  Some reports say that before his death, he worked hard to help create a product ‘roadmap’ for Apple that will see out the next five years.  No matter what his legacy, it’s still easy to see the tragedy in his passing at the age of 56, a life with much more to give, cut short.

    Mona Simpson’s words are very true.  None of us live for the purpose of dying although we all will.  Death may be inevitable, but it isn’t the benchmark or defining moment of our lives.  We don’t see it as our finest hour and even for those who are unwell, it is seldom welcome.

    There is an exception to the this though.  In Jesus Christ, we find a man who’s entire purpose was to die. Christianity teaches that the victory of Christ’s death and Resurrection brings hope to all mankind, a hope that while we may pass ‘in medias res’, we only pass on to something new. Something we can’t claim as our own but that is given to anyone who will receive.

    Steve Jobs once said that he was 50/50 on whether there was an afterlife or not.  He couldn’t be sure but he wanted to acknowledge that there could be something else.  He pointed out that many of his products don’t have ‘off switches’, they are always ready for us, they go on and on.  He went on to say that his instincts similarly told him that life itself doesn’t have an ‘off switch’ either.

    The teachings of Jesus before his death on the cross also point out that although we may be destined to die ‘in medias res’, we are still only partway through a journey which stretches on into eternity.  Steve Jobs died on October 5th, 2011.  According to Mona, his last words as he looked into the distance were “Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!”.

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  • Paul Hurst 9:47 am on October 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ceo, death, died, email, illness, , , , , obituary, , praise, stanford, statement, , steven, , thought   

    The technology world is remembering the life of… 

    The technology world is remembering the life of one of it’s giants today.  Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple Inc. has died at the age of fifty-six.

    Renowned for his ruthless and unwavering determination, Jobs had been battling through ill health since 2003 but in true typical fashion, he worked on, only stepping down as boss on the 24th August this year.

    I only dealt with Steve Jobs once.  Soon after the launch of the iPad,  I emailed him to say how happy I was with the product and how useful it was with my day to day work.  Steve Jobs was well known for replying (albeit briefly) to emails that were sent to his work address.  On this occasion, I didn’t expect a reply given that no question had been asked or suggestion made.  As it turned out, I did receive a very public reply as a few weeks later, Steve quoted some sections of my email during his TV interview at the ‘All Thing Digital’ event.

    Steve’s comments reminded me that it’s often important to give positive feedback, we’re quite used to complaining but it’s equally important to make sure we don’t let moments of thanks or praise pass by too.  Often a little ‘thank-you’ or ‘well done’ give us all a better perspective on both successful and unsuccessful endeavours that we find ourselves dealing with day by day.  The Bible says ‘Don’t grow weary of doing good’ (Gal 6:9), and no matter how successful or confident we are, we can all lose sight of what we may be achieving from time to time, thats where some simple reassurances can make a big difference.

    Steve Jobs also had quite a shrewd and philosophical view of life, and death.  In 2005, during his Stanford Commencement Speech, Jobs addressed his own mortality.

    “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.”

    Steve clearly lived by this principle, today he gains a degree of immortality with what he leaves behind. We all do well to remember that his life is one lived and used to the fullest.

     
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