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Steve Jobs and John Lennon

I called my wife after leaving an after-work event to ask her to boil some water for the pasta. “I can’t believe… Steve Jobs,” she said in the middle of my request, having heard nothing.

The last time I felt like this was the day my best friend called to tell me John Lennon had been shot. We were living in New York then, just out of college. Lennon was a founding member of the soundtrack of my life, and was always a part of my world, even as his star had faded some. The next morning, in a silent vigil with over 100,000 people in Central Park, I shared the emptiness of not having his presence in the world, the only sound being the news helicopters circling overhead.

My feeling for Steve Jobs may be a bit less personal than it was for John Lennon, but I hold him in as much awe, respect and admiration. Maybe more. When I reflect on how one individual changed the world — across generations and cultures— in so many profound ways, I almost can’t wrap my mind around it. So much has been and will be written about Steve Jobs, which isn’t really my goal here. It’s just a bittersweet moment to reflect on human greatness and mortality. Both men died too young, both live on.