Every year around this time I look for inspirational speeches, presentations, and other words of advice for graduating seniors. Last year, for example, I pointed to these three graduation speeches. This year I do not have a formal speech to point to, but I stumbled on this short and simple yet profound piece by Steve Jobs below. This clip is from a PBS documentary called "One Last Thing" which aired last November. This interview clip dates back to a time in the '90s, before he rejoined Apple. The words are very simple and uncomplicated...and true. Life is short and ephemeral, an yet we can have an impact. We can each make a contribution. Our job is to figure out what that contribution is. (The clip on Youtube.)
Life: "You can change it, you can influence it..."
Here is the transcript for the video clip. There are some good quotable lines in there.
"When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
"The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.
"I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” — Steve Jobs