I tweeted this quote yesterday from the recently deceased Steve Jobs: “Death is very likely the single best invention in life”. I found this quote in the editorial section of USA Today. I believe it is from a Stanford University graduation ceremony speech a few years ago. It was not the wisdom of his words that inspired me to share his quote. After further scrutiny, I really think it was his courage and guts that really impressed me. When I hear these words echo across the vast space of my mind, I see a man who faced a grim diagnosis of cancer but looked death in the eye with no fear. It may be no surprise to some that Steve Jobs was a Buddhist. His moral ethics and belief systems were not governed by fears of Hell or other religious dogma. He knew the world as a vibrant place full of energy and opportunity. He knew that if we gave to the Universe, we would receive something back in return. The success of Apple is certainly proof of that. Still Steve Jobs was not afraid to fail. Further, he did not place blame on the world for his unfortunate disease that took his life last week. He understood it for what it was and was accepting to his future destiny.

I dug a little deeper and found this excerpt from that Stanford graduation speech:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

“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.”


I am speechless… I think we could all learn a little something from how Steve Jobs carried himself in life, especially when he had the shadow of death glaring over him. You will be missed Steve Jobs.

John C. Bader


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