Steve Jobs did the impossible. He got me to work in a mall. I only lasted 10 months, but that’s ten more months than I ever thought I would be working in a mall. His passing somehow brought me a greater sense of pride that I was part of the company than working in the store actually did. I was truly saddened last night. I think everyone expected his death, but not so soon, not five weeks after he stepped down.
I have been struck by the magnitude of his death. From President Obama releasing a statement last night to floral tributes outside Apple stores, most tributes have been appropriate, but others have been cringe inducing. Jobs oversaw every detail of his company and intimately cared about each product the company produced. What current CEO does that? Not a one. However, he was no MLK, Jr., a comparison I heard last night that made me spit up my milk and cookies all over my MacBook Pro. Coincidentally, I had watched MLK, Jr.’s anti-Vietnam speech earlier in a class yesterday, reinforcing the point that his impact on intellectual thought, humanity, freedom, and rights is immeasurable and never was anyone so damn eloquent in bringing that about.
Nevertheless, as I sit here, studying (which I really should be doing right now) I see a few iPads, many iPhones, an 11-inch MacBook Air, and a handful of other MacBooks. Jobs’ influence is everywhere and it’s stunning that in a person’s absence we are more acutely aware of their legacy and we immediately yearn for their presence more than we ever did when they were alive. And that is why death hurts so much.