THANK YOU, STEVE JOBS!
Dr. Richard J. Bishirjian
Aug 25 2011
America values sport
because the records set by athletes are standards
of excellence that
cannot be duplicated in most other pursuits. Babe
Ruth's home run record.
Roger Bannister's four minute mile and other
records inspire us.
As do the examples of human spirit reflected in
the careers of Johnny
Unitas, Roger Maris, and Joe Namath that are
what political philosophers
call "experiences of transcendence." We
see a glimpse of
"end time" and for a moment transcend this life and
live in the realm
where things eternal preside.
Then someone like
Steve Jobs comes along and sets a standard of
excellence in Business
that is unparalleled.
If you ever started
a business, struggled to make it succeed, or just
to make payroll,
you know how much Steve Jobs has accomplished.
Like many entrepreneurs,
his company came to the point that they
thought they needed
a "manager," not an entrepreneur at the helm of
Apple. He was kicked
upstairs; a marketing "genius" from Pepsi was
brought in-and nearly
killed the company.
Back came Steve Jobs
who turned the company around and grew Apple
into the highest
capitalized company in America.
If you live long
enough you come to realize that there are no straight
lines in human life.
We set out to accomplish one thing and make
frequent course corrections.
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell and
others like them
experienced immediate success and built important
employ hundreds of thousands of employees.
Most do not. It takes
years of hard work and sacrifice that may
require a series
of startups before one clicks.
When you're on that
road and look at how difficult the U.S. government
makes it for those
who create jobs for others, you come to admire men
like Steve Jobs.
Jobs was adopted by Armenian parents, so maybe that
had something to
do with his entrepreneurial success.
In 1915 when an Islamic
mullah in Turkey issued a fatwa calling for
the killing of Armenian
Christians, Armenians living in Turkey ran
for their lives or
were killed. Many got away and came to America
where they were hit
by the Great Depression and then World War II.
On my office wall
at Yorktown University is a registry from Ellis
Island where my Armenian
grandfather arrive a few weeks after the
sinking of the Titanic.
Even the prospect of death at sea didn't deter
him from getting
out of Turkey-before the genocide. My grandmother
was less fortunate
and fled to Egypt where her family was broken up,
her fourteen year
old sister married to an Egyptian, and she made
her way to America.
Few Armenian immigrants
spoke English, even fewer were college
educated, so they
were forced to survive by their wits. Since
few employment opportunities
were available to them, they started
businesses. The lucky
ones were sponsored by Protestant religious
were active in Turkey at that time. Any way they
could, this generation
of refugees made their way to a new and strange
English, found a way to make a living and started
families. Their children
were old enough to serve in World War II and
after the war these
first generation Americans made their way in life.
One such family adopted
Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is responsible for
the good fortune
of tens of thousands of Americans who work for Apple.
And now, the end
has come not because Steve wants to retire or because
he's bored. There
are no straight lines in life and if there were,
Steve Jobs would
be around for future decades of opportunities to
make decisions that
would make Apple even greater than it is today.
Thank you, Steve.
You have earned our respect, admiration and gratitude.