Oct 7, 2011

The Sound of Silence

Why on earth can we be so saddened by the death of others? This is the question hurled at me by the passing of Steve Jobs, who was, in any practical sense, “others”. I knew it was different from sadness caused by a very personal loss, like mother or wife. However, it wasn’t clear where the boundary lay; moreover, as I came up with various types of loss, it became blurrier.

I’m more than happy to praise individualism, especially in regard to our mind. “No two alike” is the very best feature of us human beings. But, at the same time, it’s impossible to deny the fact that our personality is, more or less, shaped by the society we belong to – we all are parts of the world.

Imagine what if considerable proportion of the world were out of order. What if a significant constituent were lost. We would be most likely to become fearful, at least insecure. That part has turned out to be Steve Jobs. He no doubt reshaped the world again and again, in which most of us have been happy. He had been leading technology, which is one of the most fundamental component now and for decades to come, to where it should be. We’ve lost such a true leader. And this is the reason why so many people and I on the planet feel sad by the loss of “others”.

This conclusion reminded me of “The Sound of Silence”. Apparently, Paul Simon wrote it inspired by the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Now I can imagine slightly more how Americans felt at that time. It was obviously tragic and lonesome, but probably fearful too when they got thrown into the dark where it seemed like something wrong happening or being led in the wrong direction.

I have been fond of technology regardless of Steve Jobs. He simply showed me brilliant, sometimes dazzling aspects of it, which were just exciting outcomes and potentials – the world got better and could be further better. If he hadn’t done what he did, it would have been a far more miserable world full of convenient but tasteless technology. As a member of the world, without an incredible visionary, I sincerely wish it to keep going in the right direction, and I sure will endeavor to contribute a little bit.

Thank you and R.I.P. Steve,