Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: PRIDE (inflated opinion of one’s self) (02/19/15)
TITLE: What's so Great About Steve?
By Jack Taylor
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I’m not sure why he was chosen. His first story focused on being rejected by the parents his birth mom wanted him to have. His alternate parents didn't have any college education and they didn’t have enough to send him to school. His second story focused on being fired from Apple at the age of 30 after he had been a founder of the company. His third story talked about his encounter with death through cancer.
I’d worked hard for my near perfect marks. I had no problem feeling the pride that came with all the adoration of my family and friends. This was one of the greatest schools in the nation and I was one of the greatest students.
And then Steve Jobs tried to rain on my parade. He said death was important for me to consider if I wanted to do anything significant today. He said that being fired was a good thing for him because he got to start fresh and reinvent himself. He told me that everything I dreaded and feared and tried to ignore could be the secret to my success. He didn’t even know the great things I planned to accomplish.
Sure, Steve had made something of his life with his older friend, Steve Wozniak. Who remembers that Steve? We have iPad, iPhone and iPod but we no longer have Steve. Woz invented the first thing and Jobs figured out how to market it. Who else even knew about digital chips in those days? How can anyone make a million dollars in their first year of business and a billion by the sixth year? If Steve could do it, there were no limits to my future.
I saw Steve Jobs in action, on a tour of his company during my second year. He had so much arrogance and pride. I couldn’t imagine how he could get off telling me at my grad not to get caught up with pride.
And the guy had nothing to start with. Selling his old Volkswagen bus to get some seed money. And then ending up as the owner of Pixar and as Disney’s largest shareholder. How does a college dropout get that kind of influence and recognition without even studying for it? And why would he work for $1 a year when Apple finally took him back?
You know the man played with death, waiting nine months after the tumor was first discovered? He had to chase his eastern herbal options while we have perfectly good Christian doctors here who could do that surgery. He almost cost my family our wealth in stock options in his company. Those stock options got me here. My dad was a nervous wreck while he played coy about his health.
What I really don’t understand is that after his own rejection as a child, how he could reject his own daughter until she was seven. I'm glad he finally got married and had three children. I saw one of them when the wheel chair van took me past the school.
I was meant to be great like Steve and I think it was his speech that doomed me. Right after my grad, after sitting so long in that hot sun, I took time to celebrate with my friends. They knew I had greatness in me. I knew it. The future was wide open.
Tanner offered to drive, but I told him that the smartest one in the class could handle it. Seems I wasn’t the only drunk on the road that night. This wheelchair gets me around, but I’ll never get to where I should have been. Jobs didn’t have half the challenges I’m facing now.
His final comments did hit me. He spoke about seeing the final edition of The Whole Earth Catalogue in the 1970’s. A road was pictured with the words “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” Those were his final words to me.
How much more foolish could I get? Death did not do the job it was designed for. Now, all I have is my pride. Steve isn’t going to take that with him.
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