On October 5, 2011 the world lost Steve Jobs, Apple Founder and technological visionary to his battle with pancreatic cancer. On the same day the world also lost Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth a hero in the battle for Civil Rights in America. One of my friends on Facebook and I were discussing the fact that in some ways Rev. Shuttlesworth may have contributed more to society than Steve Jobs did, but that his passing is going relatively unnoticed because it was overshadowed by Jobs.
The argument was that maybe Steve Jobs didn’t do as much as he could in the way of philanthropy or by helping society the way the Reverend did. I took that information and I meditated with it in mind. Was one man’s contribution in some way more valuable than the other man? What came back to me was this, “Do what you can. Do what only you can do. ”
The thing is there are many people who are not able to come up with the idea of the Macintosh, the iPod, the iPhone, Pixar or any of the amazing other things that Jobs came up with. The fact is there are other people who are capable of doing the many philanthropic things that need to be done. Now this isn’t meant to be a scapegoat for people to shirk off something they should be doing. This isn’t to say “Someone else will take care of that.” because I think there is too much of that going on in society right now. What I mean to say is, that no one else BUT Steve Jobs could have invented those things, could have inspired others, could have made the technological miracles happen that he created. Many interviews with people who are in the industry say “Only Steve could have done that.”
The fact is our time on Earth is finite. We only have so much of it. No one is able to do all there is available to do in life we have to be discerning with the precious resource of time. In the blog What are you doing? Manage your time, manage your life discussed the importance of time management.
It’s important to take some time to ask “What is it that only I can do?” and not get distracted from that point. Because only you can do that. We should do the best we can to be an asset to the global community but that can manifest itself in many ways and each way is valuable. Only Rev. Shuttlesworth could have withstood the tribulations he did in the fight for civil rights and only Steve Jobs could have done what he did which ended up providing the tools for the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall St., and other revolutions that have taken place because of the iPhone, Google, Facebook and Twitter all things that Jobs in some way influenced.
Be your own kind of hero. Maybe its writing a song, or a blog, or being an awesome mentor to a young person, or inventing technology, or standing up for the civil rights of another. Maybe it will be by creating a moving piece of art, or just by being that helpful person at work that made life better for others. Find your own version of hero. Do what you can. Do what only you can do. And in the end when your time on Earth is up people can remember you and the miracles you made happen in your own unique way because only YOU could have done that.