According to the World Health Organisation, over 150,000 people die across the globe each day. So why does one man warrant such an outpouring of emotion? Why is his death seen to be more important than the others?

On the one hand you have a cutthroat capitalist, single-minded in his desire to perfect technology in order to maximise profits. The creator of a ruthless corporate machine which is ultra-efficient at taking from consumers, but inefficient at giving back. The word ‘philanthropist’ is rarely mentioned against his name. In 1986 he set up a charitable foundation but closed it less than a year later because, in the words on the foundation’s manager, “he didn’t have time.” More recently, he closed Apple’s philanthropic programmes and snubbed Buffet and Gates’ Giving Pledge to give away at least half his fortune.

However, on the other hand, you will rarely see an article without him being labelled a ‘visionary’, ‘innovator’ or ‘genius’. He helped pioneer a new age for mankind, his products are adored by millions, he created wealth and employment for many thousands around the world. Not bad for a college drop-out who was given up for adoption at birth, and at one point would return coke bottles to earn enough money to buy food. An inspirational story without doubt… and then there is his ideology…

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

His death is certainly no sadder than anyone else who died yesterday (and perhaps even less so given he led a full and privileged life). Perhaps it will be his ideology, if not all of his actions, that may inspire people to better themselves, and in turn the world. He was undoubtedly a visionary who had an insatiable belief in his ideas, and a unique intellect to make them a reality. “Keep hungry, keep foolish” he preached to the next generation of leaders. Who can argue that is not a worthwhile philosophy to be celebrated and remembered …

About Jon Maiden

Founder of Goalvanise which enables people to create their Life List online, and inspires and supports them to achieve their life goals. Check out the Goalvanise blog here or my personal blog here.

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