An Email To Self

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06th May, 2023

People at the top of their profession are thought to be quite self cantered and sure of themselves.

But one of the best-known tech figures of all time had a remarkably poignant take on life and humanity a year before he passed away.

In 2010, Steve Jobs had been diagnosed with cancer, and had cut down on his work commitments. At that point, he had written an email to himself, and sent it via what else, but his iPad.

The email ruminated on the fact that most things in Jobs’ life weren’t controlled by him.

He said that he didn’t grow most of the food he ate, used a language he didn’t develop, listened to music which he didn’t write, was governed by laws which he didn’t come up with.

This led Jobs to a beautiful conclusion, which was the closing line of his email: I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well being.

In an emotional line, Jobs states how he feels ‘helpless’, probably about his medical condition. “When I needed medical attention, I was helpless to help myself survive”, he writes.

Even though he had a lot of money, he felt powerless in the face of his illness.

One of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, who’d created what is now the world’s most valuable company, and whose products had touched millions of lives, was putting things in perspective, and saying that most of his life had been built by other members of his species.

Sure, he might’ve created beautiful products and tremendous amounts of shareholder value, but Jobs was acknowledging that he had stood on the shoulders of giants.

And if Steve Jobs felt that the outcome of his life had been largely determined by the human species as a whole, do we, the ordinary mortals, need to show any pride & think otherwise.

We should only be grateful for all the blessings & acknowledge the comfort by the contribution of society and those before us.

Ruminate over the thought this weekend & stay blessed forever.