Steve Jobs’ Cancer is a Call to Action

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Today, word came across the wire that Steve Jobs was undergoing treatment for his pancreatic cancer. It’s possible that he only has weeks to live, which would only cast a dark cloud over the entire consumer electronics industry.

We need a Steve Jobs – just as we need every other tech visionary. He may not always play ball, but that’s PRECISELY WHY we need him.

When I Tweeted this news yesterday, I said that if Steve Jobs were to die, a piece of me would die with him. Many people responded with their agreement, but one kid in particular sparked this video. He replied and stated that if the worst happens to Jobs, he (the kid) would celebrate. I forgave him that, because he IS a kid. The problem is, this kid is also a geek – in a big way.

Even if you don’t like Steve Jobs or Apple, you cannot deny the ways in which they have influenced you. Losing that inspiration is not something to celebrate. The way the world works is through inspiration. Art inspires art. Technology inspires technology. People inspire people.

Speaking as someone who didn’t care too much about Apple or Steve Jobs himself until recently, you should pause before saying something so incredibly short-sighted. Even though it was a kid who Tweeted that, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of adults who would say something similar regarding the loss of this man who is a visionary and a great leader. You cannot deny his influence and inspiration.

At any point in the future – no matter how long it takes – when it happens, keep in mind that Steve Jobs inspired something in your life… directly or indirectly. To celebrate the loss of his life is making you look like a moron. I wouldn’t consider you someone worthy of my respect were you to say something rude about any visionary leaving this Earth long before their time. I’d be saying the same thing if we were discussing Steve Ballmer right now.

Like it or not – Steve Jobs is a leader. That’s the type of leadership that every single one of us geeks has been inspired by. He is the type of leader we need more of, folks. We need people who can step up to the plate and take on the challenge of leading a technology generation into the future. It’s not something that everyone could do, obviously, but it’s something that needs to happen.

Instead of spending your time trolling and doing nothing with your life, why not do SOMETHING? Take this as a call to action. Become the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. You have that power in you. Fifty years from now, the world could mourn your loss and be inspired by the things you did.

Don’t just sit there. DO SOMETHING with your life. Realize that you don’t have to be the next Torvolds or Gates or Jobs – as long as you’re doing something. There are small ways you can inspire others… small ways you can leave your mark on the world. But by God – get off your butt and make that mark. Stop being afraid. Stop holding yourself back with excuses. Stop whining about how everyone is against you and there’s nothing you can do about it. Many others before you have blown those excuses out of the water, and so can you.

If you have a dream – make it happen. If you have an idea – turn it into a reality. If you have passion – act on it. Your life is going to be what YOU make of it. Make it something good.

Edited to add: After this video and post had gone live, I received the following email from Jamo. He has given me permission to post his words verbatim. If what I had to say didn’t touch you in some way, perhaps Jamo’s words will strike a chord within you.

Something possessed me to type up part of your monologue from your “Steve Jobs’ Cancer – Dying Soon?” video. If I had to say why I did, it would be because it struck a chord with me in one way or another. I am only an 18 year old kid (I say kid and not adult because I feel I am not yet mature or wise enough to call myself a true adult. And I am sad to say that I also don’t believe that a good amount of ‘adults’ should call themselves that either) so I still feel I have time to wise up and make the world a better place and I will most certainly do my best to do so. I am so glad that you are using your unique position in the world to tell people that they really need to do something. I also applaud you being so direct and not fearing the backlash that may come with it. I think that people need to hear this. I decided to bold the parts that really stuck out to me:

“Unfortunately, I would go as far as to say, unfortunately, 90% of the people that comment on this video have done nothing with their lives, nothing. And sadly, they will likely continue to do nothing with their lives. So take this as a call to action. Become the next Steve Jobs. Become the next Bill Gates. You have that power in you. So that 50 years from now the world would mourn your loss and be inspired by the things you did, because if you’re not providing inspiration, quite honestly, you are taking up space; you are wasting your life.

I very much agree with this and I want you to know that it has done nothing less than strengthen my testimony of the importance of doing something of use in life and not just being a stagnant lump on society’s butt. I wanted to make aware that what you said has strengthened at least one person that listened to it.

So I would like to end this by saying thank you for making this video, taking you time to read through this email and doing your part to inspire the world.

8 thoughts on “Steve Jobs’ Cancer is a Call to Action”

  1. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Chris. The tremendous impact that Steve Jobs has had on our technology community will inform our industry for generations to come. As you say, Steve Jobs is a visionary and a leader, and whether you like his public personae or Apple as a company is really neither here nor there. In fact, I would venture to say that one of the things that sets Jobs apart and contributed to his success is that he stayed his course and believed in his mission, despite vociferous opposition. He wasn’t competing in the popularity contest that seems to be the hallmark of our tech community today. Good thing, because he would have lost. He cared about his brand and his products and how they were adopted by consumers and there’s no denying that he was a champion in that regard.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with this. I’m currently doing nothing with my life because I’m not in the position to do so financially, but once I get a few pennies behind me you can be assured I won’t rest easy until I’ve left my mark one way or another.

    This guy says he doesn’t consider himself an adult, but based on his words I’d say he’s a damn site closer to adulthood than a lot of people out there. Many actually older than him!

    I’m 24 myself, 25 on the 28th of this month, and even I don’t consider myself to be a true adult. I take responsibility over myself and my place, to a degree, but there’s many things I’m still new to, many things I’m afraid of and many things I should be doing but lack the motivation for.

    I think it’s disgusting how people slander the name of Steve Jobs when they don’t even know the man and have likely never accomplished anywhere NEAR what he has with his life. Steve will be a true loss to the world of technology and the world in general. Don’t insult the business man. Instead, celebrate the life of an icon. I know I will.

  3. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest Mac fan (I enjoy using them, but I tend to prefer Windows so I can build my own), but I’ve always had an immense respect for Steve Jobs, Apple, and their wide array of amazing products. People like Steve keep the tech industry advancing at the fast pace it is, spurring everyone to innovate constantly. Truth be told, I started to tear up when I read this article because I will miss Steve a lot. He’s a great guy with an amazing vision for technology. People like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are what inspired me to join the tech industry as a repair technician and eventually a developer. He will be greatly missed, and the world will have lost an amazing leader and man.

  4. some people will be really positive after they know they got cancer, they try to do everything what they are fear to do before.

  5. My heroes have always been in IT. Steve Jobs, Jack Tramiel, Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds are all people I have looked up to.

    Although I personally do not have many Apple products, I will miss the Greatness that is Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs (amongst others) helped form and shape the IT Industry that it is today. The industry I work in. The rivalry that is Apple and Microsoft would not be here today if not for Steve Jobs.

    His passing, whenever it happens (Hopefully not soon) will be a mark in history.

    I hope his health clears up. Nobody should pass so early in their life.

  6. maybe he meant celebrate his death like he celebrates his life. when i die i want a huge celebration, i dont want sad people at my funeral. i doubt thats what he meant, but yeah… you are a good guy chris, you are slowly growing on me, even if i still think you are a trend whore (what else can you be these days 😛 im just jealous of your speed and quality).

    also bill is great, but hes turning a little evil 😛 i think he might be part of the nwo 🙂

    have a fun safe trip in germany CP

  7. Steve Jobs would probably toss baby kittens from the top of the Empire State if it meant gaining advantage over Gates or the competition –at least back in the day. Who invented the mouse? For me that’s the guy or gal I’ll celebrate. I agree it is rather disgusting to celebrate his illness or passing. And though Apple fine-tuned the computer (though I still have nightmares about OS 7.6) I think we can tone down the fan-boy aspect a notch. I mean another CEO will step in and have Chinese workers make your iPads and iPhones and geeks with less money will still build their own PCs from parts.

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