Steve Jobs died today of the worst disease mankind ever knew (I honestly think cancer is by far the worst disease ever, worse than the plague even). I knew little about the man, but I am an avid iPod user, so his life did have an impact on mine. And then I heard this speech he made at Stanford University, and those words had a strong reasonance in my mind. I reproduce them here:
"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
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."
You can read, see and hear the full speech here. It is something that an atheist like me can be easily relate to, about his own mortality. According to Wikipedia he was a Buddhist, but they are often technically atheists. In any case, I thought this was pure wisdom and very touching.