Steve Jobs’ life impacted a startling proportion this world in which you and I live. Even if you do not own an Apple product, that product that you do not own impacted the way we human beings in the world communicate, create and cogitate. Not many people can say they can leave this kind of legacy behind them -having made such a distinctive mark on the culture of the world; having whole industries react to your newest ideas; having impacted the lives of billions of human beings. It is humbling … and a bit intimidating.
Mr. Jobs died during these ten days when Jews around the world are considering our own impact and legacy in the world. None of us (okay maybe one or two of us) will ever come close to approach the size and scope of Steve Jobs’ impact and legacy. As incredible as the sheer breadth of his impact may be, we cannot fall into the mode of measuring our own impact and legacy the same way. Impacts and legacies can reach millions and even billions, but that is not the true manner to measure such things.
The wisdom from Talmud comes to mind: Destroy a soul and you destroy an entire world, save a soul and you save an entire world. (Sanhedrin 37a) Size does not matter when it comes to legacy and impact … Jewish tradition calls us to do our best and seek to be great in our corner of the world. The depth and breadth of legacy and impact comes from how we live within each moment, each choice and each relationship.