The Spirit of Creativity: A Reflection on the Life and Death of Steve Jobs
The death of Apple, Inc., co-Founder and long-time CEO, Steve Jobs, has truly impacted a lot of people’s lives in the past several days. But, why? Why are so many people interested in the man behind the scenes of one of the largest technology companies in the world? Are they all geeks and computer nerds? No, they are clearly people from a diverse range of backgrounds. The death of Steve Jobs has had a profound impact because what he embodied was the spirit of innovation and creativity.
According to many, Steve Jobs was one of the greatest innovators of all time. He revolutionized the way we engage with the world. Forty years ago, no one could imagine how connected we are today. No one, except maybe Jobs. Jobs had an innate sense of aesthetic, performance, and design. He could see a problem in technology or a place for improvement and find away to enhance our ability to overcome it.
We saw the creation of the iPod, which reminded us of the importance music plays in our lives. The development of the iBook and MacBook allowed us to compute anywhere we went. The iPhone opened the doors wide for the possibility the phone could play in our day-to-day lives. The release of the iPad signaled the next chapter of technological excellence. And years from now, Apple will continue to unleash the products that represent the creativity of humanity.
Jobs’ passing signifies a loss not just to a great man and genius, but perhaps also to the death of modern imagination. Susan Thistlethwaite, my professor at Chicago Theological Seminary, wrote in a recent Washington Post article on The Theology of Steve Jobs that much information can be gathered by looking at the company’s logo. The Apple, she writes, can be interpreted as the “apple that Eve bit into in the Garden of Eden and then offered to Adam.”
While there have been articles showing that this Biblical homage is not necessarily accurate, Thistlethwaite argues that Jobs opened up our minds and hearts to the power of imagination and creativity. We are the shapers, the co-creators of the future and it begins with a willingness to dream and embrace our creative sides.
With the passing of Steve Jobs, millions of people are mourning his loss in their own ways. As we move forward and continue living in a technological world, I hope that we do not lose the spirit of creativity and innovation. Jobs called us towards greater imagination. My prayer is that his memory can live on in our never-ending journey towards greater interconnection and awareness of the beauty of our shared human spirit.
Posted on October 11, 2011, in Popular Culture, Theology and tagged Adam, Aesthetics, Apple, Community, Computers, Creativity, Death, Eve, Function, Hope, Imagination, Innovation, Interconnectedness, Mourning, Spirituality, Technology, Theology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.