Thursday, October 6, 2011

Unfettered Genuis

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.

Be brilliant.


  1. Well put Holli...

    I have been living by that philosophy for some years now...

    Jobs will be missed but we can hope that others take much away from his all-too-short life...

  2. Thanks, Lisa. I know the man wasn't perfect, but he certainly did (and said) some great things. No one can say that he didn't really LIVE.

    I think that's worth looking up to.

    I appreciate the comment. :) Happy Thanksgiving!