There have been many instances of push-pull, emotions lately. Happy on the one hand, in times where people might say I’m being honorable or “saintly”, but just as much (if not more) push to negatives and what-ifs and bitterness for what I am lacking that other people have.
I am not so honorable that I can keep to the sunny side of things all the time, and the accident, the pain, the recuperation, the too-soon exit from my disability interval, the headache that I’ve had nearly 24/7 since August of 2006 (yes, that would be 22 months. 1 headache. sometimes light, but mostly intensely painful, from dull ugly pain thumping and wretched to exquisite sharpness, all pins and knives. Variations on a theme: Pain.
Today there are ugly posts all around the internet with people throwing nasty, impersonal, callous, cruel comments—seemingly in passing—with no disregard for the humanity involved. What was the subject? The health of Steve Jobs.
This brings back memories of my hateful ex sister-in-law who made fun of Allen’s appearance about 6 months before he died. I wrote about it almost exactly five years to today.
Now, I had my very first email account in 1982. August of 1982. I was a freshman at Carnegie Mellon, and everyone on campus got one. Along with the email address came a specific context: the only other people to send email to—with a few exceptions—were fellow students, people you’d see nearly every day. This had the effect of making email something personal, something of an additional avenue of communication and quite the opposite of a tool that set enough distance between you and another person that you could feel free to be as profoundly inhuman as people are today.
Steve Jobs is indeed the King of Apple. Apple is a kingdom perhaps even moreso that an business. That is beside the point: there are so many people out there speculating about his health, commenting on whether they should sell AAPL because of his health!
Steve Jobs has a wife. He has kids. He surely has any number of people he calls friend, people who love him and care about him.
And there you are out there treating it like grist for the mill, juicy topics for water cooler chats. What kind of fucking freaks are you? Just because you’re typing instead of talking doesn’t give you license to cross the boundaries of good taste, sympathy, empathy, honor just to be snarky or selfish about what effects someone else’s health may have on you?
Like there’s not a dearth of intimacy in the world, people trading depth for quantity, people dropping personal boundaries for their own wants. Friends disregarding respect for you in favor of literally-cheap thrills.
Steve Jobs deserves better. We all do. The answer is not to expect less, the answer is to respect more.