Friday, October 07, 2011

Some thoughts on the passing of Steve Jobs

I have this rather odd habit of checking with Fox Business News before going to bed.  Most likely a leftover from my corporate years.  So I was quite shocked when the Breaking News was telling us of Steve Jobs' death.  I had to immediately text Christopher, the only person in my family that I knew would share my sadness.

A little later, I received a phone call from him as he had begun the hour long drive from his fiance's house.  He said my text explained a text he received just prior to mine from his roommate... asking him if all of his friends were on suicide watch.  Then he said his future mother-in-law, when he told her my text said Steve Jobs had died, asked who he was.

I wish I was there to see the look on my computer science major son's face!  He is marrying into a very intelligent literary, drama loving, liberal arts type of family... who are not at all in the universe of "tekkie".  He said it would be like them telling him "insert famous modern novelist" passed away and I had to ask him who that was.  My fiction reading consists a great deal of dead British authors from the last century.

I've had a little opportunity to digest not only the passing of Jobs but what others have been writing about him.  They run the gamut from idol worship from those in his field to a rather annoying article written by a Christian writer (whose opinions I sometimes value) lamenting the fact that Jobs was brilliant but not a Christian and the insinuation was that we should not honor the man's life at all.

Of course, I wish above all things that Jobs was a Bible believing God-fearing Jesus loving Christian.  I think he leaned toward being a Buddhist.  But that doesn't stop me from respecting his genius.  In my former life... in a galaxy far far away called my youth... I worked in the field of organization development.  I loved meeting with and interviewing  men and women with leadership skills and creative genius.  How I would have enjoyed hearing Jobs talk about the thought processes behind his discoveries.

Just as I am amazed at the men involved in the American Revolution... ordinary men involved in extraordinary circumstances... so I am also in awe of the men who came together to create Apple, Microsoft, etc.  For in my generation we went from manual typewriters... to computer rooms at work... to personal computers at the office... to personal computers at home... to ipads to iphones and itunes and... you get the picture.

I don't think many of us who lived through these great inventions stopped to think how they were changing our lives, in many ways no less than Thomas Edison and the light bulb.  Those of us who write these things called blogs can share our thoughts with thousands within seconds of writing them.  I don't know about you but when my computer is not working, what I miss most is the ability to Google information! 

What is now common place was... not that long ago... science fiction.

Hubby was studying engineering when the data cards had holes punched in them and were given to "experts" for processing.  My daughter helped me "get online" in the 1990's and wowed people at work with her skills on what was a simple black and white design program.

My son wrote his first computer program at around age ten when he developed a game for fellow geeky Internet friends.  He now lives and breaths the world of algorithms and zeros and ones and Apps and Apple and Microsoft and Google and Intel.

I think it is okay for a Christian to give due respect to one who does not know Christ for what he accomplished in his journey on this planet.  Without men like him, we would not be chatting here today.  I honor his talents and pray for his family.  I would love to think he came to know Truth in his final days.

Goodbye, Steve Jobs... you will be missed by true geeks and geek wanna-be's like me.


Linda V said...

Well said, Brenda! Thanks for posting today.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we should respect his memory. Look at everything the man accomplished in his field.
In a way, we should respect everyone even if they are not Christian because, after all they are God's creation whether they are aware of it or not.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I think you are right to honor someone's contributions to the world we live in (good contributions, I mean!). I used to think, in my twenties, that I would never see as much change as my grandfather experienced. He went from his first job for Marshall Fields in Chicago where he delivered packages from a horse drawn wagon to seeing man on the moon, cars, radio, tv. But now I think I have seen as much change as he did, at least!

Judy said...

What many do not know is that, if he were concieved today, we might not have had Steve Jobs. He was born of an unmarried grad student and adopted with the stipulation that he go to college. It makes you wonder how many Steve Jobs we are aborting today and what wonders we will never know because of that.

Vee said...

Yours is a balanced and beautiful tribute to an amazing mind. I have been reading a lot and listening to a lot of commentary. I was intrigued by a quote of Jobs' that went something like this: No one wants to die. Even Christians who believe in going to Heaven, don't want to die to get there. Seems true enough to me. ☺ Like you, I'd like to think that the Lord gave him a lot of time to discover the truth and who knows how the Lord reveals Himself to individuals when they are lapsing into comas or even sleeping. I also heard that Jobs had had a premonition as a young man that he would not live to be an old man. Since he was younger than I, I don't consider 56old.

Mrs.Rabe said...

What a blessing his genius was to all of us! I think it sad he was not a believer, but am thankful that he gave us so much.


Kimberly said...

Maybe I'm overly sensitive but if I was the future mother-in-law I'd be so offended--definitely my feelings would be hurt by your post. Some things just aren't meant to be shared. I don't think I can read your blog anymore. It's sad--I've enjoyed for a few years now. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

We may never know how Steve was at the end...sometimes approaching that time changes things...and he at least had some knowledge of his time being so short. There is always hope!! It is sad to loose someone with so much to offer the world. I read several accounts that he died peacefully and my missionary friends say that is a sign of peace with GOD...people without that do not die peacefully they told me. I surely hope so! I am virtually illiterate on computers, but my whole family are big into that techie I feel the loss to them.
Elizabeth in NC

Anonymous said...

I don't get the controversy. You were just saying different people run in different circles and love different things in life. I get it. We are not expected to know everyone in each others field. I understood what you were saying so well. Yes, because of this man we have a very new and different world. In some ways it has created a mix of good and bad but his ideas were for the good. Naturally God knew when he was born what his life would mean to us all...but we did not. My father was born before the Wright brothers first flight and died many, many, many years after our astronaut walked on the moon. Quite a reach of science. Even in our live time think of all the new marvels we have witnessed? What is to be in our future...we don't know. But Steve Jobs certainly changed the face of the world. Sarah