Everyone deals with death in their own way. Even, and I think especially, when the passing isn’t that of a loved one but of someone more distant from our daily lives. There are people who respond immediately, as they did this week with apples, flowers, and notes left outside Apple stores.
And then, there are people like me, who respond more slowly. So, it is Saturday and I am just now writing.
And, at this point, there is little that hasn’t been said. I, like thousands of others I’m sure, learned of Mr. Jobs’ passing via my iPhone. I’ve read and watched numerous tributes to him on my iPad this week. And I sit here to write today on my MacBook.
His life’s work powers my life’s passions.
So, even though I did not know him personally, his life, and now death, has an impact on me.
And then, there are the speeches.
This week, you couldn’t escape his 2005 Stanford Commencement speech. It seemed to be woven into the wind and I’d catch a different section of it each time the wind blew.
And every time I’d listen intently. There is so much to listen to in that one speech. I used to be captivated by the way he talked about some very big failures and some very hard times alongside some tremendous successes in an effort to encourage and inspire. In a much smaller way, that’s what I try to do here. Though never as eloquently.
But my favorite part is this:
“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, 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
Those are big words and hard ones to live by. I often struggle to live with that kind of courage.
But death has a way of making us stop and reflect on life. Even, and sometimes especially, when the passing isn’t of a loved one but of someone more distant. So, over these past few days, I’ve been reflecting on the life I’m living. Do I have the courage to follow my heart? What changes do I need to make?
And, perhaps more importantly, how do I encourage my daughter to listen to her inner voice? Especially when, right now, that inner voice is two years old and it is telling her that cupcakes are a great choice for breakfast?
I’m starting to think that, maybe, the answer is: sometimes let her have a cupcake for breakfast.
Of course I need to discipline her and teach her right from wrong and serve her healthy food. But I also need to show her that life is meant to be lived.
So I’m keeping an eye out for the small ways that I can instill these values in Baby. Today, while driving around and running errands, I let her take her shoes and socks off in the car (usually I adamantly insist she keep them on – forcing socks and shoes back onto squirmy feet from the front seat is NOT FUN). But today, I let her go. And what did she do? Instead of tossing the socks on the floor, she slid them onto her hands and made sock puppets. She was thrilled and so proud of herself. (And adorable.) And I began to realize that when I let her explore and do her own thing, there is no limit to what she can do.
How do you encourage your children to live their own life?