The Korea Times 칼럼

Invitation for Steve Jobs (2011년 2월 26일)

divicom 2011. 2. 26. 09:10

Happy birthday, dear Steve or Mr. Jobs! Being a little older than you, I can assure you that it is nice to be 56 years old. The first good thing about our maturing age is that we no longer care much about the big mouths, whether it’s our next-door neighbor or the so-called mass media. Not only can we close our eyes but also our ears.

You may have seen the photos taken at the dinner at the venture capitalist John Doerr’s on Feb. 17, just a week before your birthday on Thursday. You, the slimmer Apple Inc. CEO, stole the show as far as the global news coverage of the event was concerned. None of the dozen other attendees, including U.S. President Barack Obama and Facebook Founder-CEO Mark Zukerberg, made more headlines than you did.

On Wednesday, you didn’t show up at Apple’s annual shareholders’ meeting for only the second time in a decade, and the media are again talking about ``Apple without you. While they are unforgivably rude and unfeeling, it is true your well-being is not your concern alone but everybody’s.

Some people care about you because you have produced Macintosh computers, iPods, iPads, and the ever-popular iPhones. Others care as you are Walt Disney’s largest individual shareholder. Some watch your movements as they are intrigued by your record as an inventor: you are the primary inventor or a co-inventor of more than 230 patents or patent applications according to Wikipedia.

For some, your personal biography is more impressive than your achievement as a technology guru or a billionaire. Others have become your loyal fans after they heard or read your touching speech at the 2005 commencement of Stanford University, particularly your attitudes towards health issues such as pancreatic cancer and liver transplants.

Though I am not an early adopter and don’t have Apple or Disney shares that may dance to your health conditions, I am deeply concerned about you. In addition to all the reasons mentioned above, I need you here in Korea once and for all. I sincerely hope you will come to Seoul someday and tell the three stories you related to the Stanford audience to Korean youths. Given the huge Apple sales here, I believe you owe us a visit, don’t you? There is no need to hurry; take a good rest first, for a creative mind like you can’t afford to have time off unless you are ill.

You don’t have to write a new text; feel free to repeat your previous speech, as the point is presenting you in person to the young yet dispirited men and women of this land. You are hoped to reiterate that seeming lack of fortune can’t be the excuse for wasting one’s life.

You dropped out from Reed College after one semester as you didn’t want to spend your working-class, adoptive parents’ savings on tuition. During your Stanford speech, you recollected, “It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.” I earnestly hope you will say it to the Korean collegians, many of who attend and graduate from higher institutions paying exorbitant tuition and unknowing what to do there or later.

I also hope you will emphasize the importance of following your heart and intuition. As a dropout, you learned calligraphy at Reed as an auditor simply because you were enchanted by its beauty, without pragmatic considerations. However, the calligraphy came back to you when you were designing the first Macintosh computer. I hope you will tell our youths that they shouldn’t be too preoccupied with practical gains to disregard their yearnings.

Talking about your ousting from Apple in 1985, you said how you turned your ``public failure” to ``the most creative periods” of your life. Here in Korea where one failure often means a failed life, your experience would undoubtedly serve as an inspiring lesson. Please tell our youths that a failure is a chance to start over and what counts is not being successful but finding what you love. You said, ``You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.” I hope you will say it loud and clear as we have too many people wasting their lives doing things they don’t love.

I hope you will keep on staying away from all Apple functions for some time and ``stay selfish” somewhere green until we see you here in Seoul. Deep breathing and red ginseng should help you recover and rejuvenate. Please put your mind at ease by remembering that Apple will be around as long as apples grow from trees.

P.S. Send my best regards to your wife, Laurene. I hope she, as a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions, will fix President Obama’s misconceptions about Korean education. He doesn’t seem to understand how effective our system is in suffocating creative souls. We have no 56-years old like you and we salute you.



애플 컴퓨터의 창립자이자 대표인 스티브 잡스가 목요일 56회 생일을 맞았습니다. 췌장암, 간 이식, 항암치료에도 불구하고 그의 창의성은 여전히 빛을 발합니다. 그의 창의성을 흉내도 내지 못하는 사람들이 그를 두고 시한부 인생이네, 6개월 남았네, 떠들어댑니다. 그가 수척한 게 자신의 기쁨인 양 그의 사진에 '더 수척해진 스티브 잡스' 어쩌고 하는 제목을 달아 배포합니다.


대학원생이었던 그의 친부모는 그가 태어나기도 전에 그의 양부모를 구했다고 합니다. 자신들에게 키울 힘이 없으니 가능한 한 가장 좋은 부모를 찾아주겠다고 마음 먹은 겁니다. 그들이 내건 양부모의 조건은 부부가 모두 대학을 졸업한 사람이어야 한다는 거였다고 합니다. 그렇게 해서 양부모를 구했고 스티브는 태어나자마나 양부모의 아들이 되었습니다. 그러나 사실 양부모는 대학을 나온 사람들이 아니었습니다. 그걸 알게된 스티브의 친어머니는, 그럼 스티브만은 꼭 대학교육을 시켜달라고 부탁했습니다.


스티브는 이미 고등학교 때 정보기술에 관심을 보여 휴렛 팩커드사(Hewlett-Packard Company)의 방과후 강의를 들었고 여름방학 때는 그곳에서 일했습니다. 고등학교를 졸업한 후에는 오레곤 주의 포들랜드에 있는 명문대학 리드 칼리지에 들어갔습니다. 그러나 사립학교인 리드 칼리지의 수업료가 근근이 먹고 사는 양부모에게 너무 큰 부담이라는 걸 깨닫곤 한 학기만에 그만두었습니다. 중퇴한 후에도 그는 1년 반 동안 리드 칼리지를 드나들며 청강생으로 듣고 싶은 강의를 들었고, 그 때 들은 강의 중 하나가 바로 서예 강의입니다. 그는 단지 서예의 아름다움에 매혹되어 그 강의를 들었지만, 그 때 배운 서체들은 그가 맥킨토시 컴퓨터를 개발할 때 큰 도움이 되었습니다. 그가 첫아이의 이름을 리드(Reed Paul)로 지은 것을 보면 리드 칼리지에 대한 그의 사랑이 얼마나 깊은지 짐작할 수 있습니다.


그는 경쟁사인 마이크로소프트의 빌 게이츠와는 여러 가지 면에서 다릅니다. 한마디로 빌은 사업가지만 스티브는 발명가입니다. 그는 230개의 특허를 냈습니다. 그런가 하면 그는 철학자입니다. 리드 칼리지 시절 아르바이트로 돈을 모아 인도를 여행한 불교도이기도 한 그가 2005년 스탠포드 대학의 졸업식에서 행한 연설은 전 세계 수많은 사람들의 가슴을 울렸습니다. 그때 그는 죽음은 '삶이 만들어낸 최고의 발명품일 것'이라며, 시간이 제한되어 있으니 '남의 인생'을 살지 말고 자신의 인생을 살아야 한다, 남들의 주장이나 교리에 갇히지 말고, 자신의 마음과 직관이 이끄는 삶을 살아야 한다고 말했습니다. 아래에 그 연설의 핵심부분을 옮겨둡니다.


제가 이번 칼럼에서 스티브 잡스를 한국으로 초청한 건 그의 삶이 우리 모두에게, 특히 젊은이들 --하고 싶은 일이 무언지 모른 채 부모나 남들이 좋다고 하는 방식으로 나날을 살고 있는--에게 영감을 줄 거라고 믿기 때문입니다. 그의 건강이 회복되어 꼭 한번 우리나라를 방문해주길 기원합니다.


"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 other’s 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."