“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 others’ 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

The first thing my husband told me on October 5 was that Steve Jobs died. His death struck a chord in hearts around the world, including mine. Gerald born in February 1955, too, is the same age. I am not far behind. For my generation of fifty-somethings, it is a reminder that we are infallible, even geniuses are mortal. It is wake up call to take action before its too late.

Breaking news bulletins across Europe reported his passing and offered tributes to the man whose remarkable innovations changed our lifestyle. His death caused reflection as we enter the digital age.

Steve Jobs name is synonymous with Apple. In 1976, he helped usher in the age of the personal computer by creating the Apple I and then II. Then he further revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the Macintosh.

You didn’t need to know anything about computers to navigate the Mac. The user friendly Macintosh was designed for computer illiterate, technologically disabled folks, like myself.  I still struggle working the television remote control and turning on the stereo system.

He gave me and millions of other writers a voice. When the printed paper began to die out, digital communication took off and blogging was born.

Not only has Steve Jobs contributions to society improved our lives, his own story is inspires our soul. He defied the odds. Abandoned as a child, adopted by a family of modest means, he dropped out of college and started the Apple empire in his garage.  The computer geek struck gold, becoming a multimillionaire before the age of 30.  After being fired from his own company, he created successful ventures as NeXt and Pixar, then was rehired to turn Apple around and make it the most valuable business in the world.

His rags-to-riches, self-made man story, is the essence of the America Dream. His contributions are a tribute to the American spirit of discovery. As a visionary, he transformed the markets of computers, digital music and cell phones. He launched the first iPod, iPhone  and iPad.  As an innovator and entrepreneur, he found a new frontier and then shared it with the world.

His renegade life is a reminder for teachers to encourage students to think outside the box, to foster other pathways to success than traditional education, and to acknowledge that learning is a lifelong endeavor.

His life, cut short too soon, reminds each of us to seize the day. Dare to “think different.” iLove it!