THE BLOG

What Chicanos (Mexican-Americans) Can Learn From the Revolutionary Steve Jobs in a New Era

12/23/2012 10:56 am ET | Updated Feb 20, 2013

Artist: El Moises (Famous Mexican-American artist in Phoenix, Arizona)
El Genio Painting

December 21, 2012, is a thing of the past now.

We survived the end of the world even though some predicted it would end, but in my view, 12-21-2012, marks the beginning of a new era. Some of us have already caught the winds of change and the aura of a heightened awakening.

As we become more alert to our surroundings, we might ask ourselves if we want to continue to do things the old way in a time when those ideas seem to have expired and are flat out boring. I think many of us feel that things have become stale and ineffective, and we yearn for invigoration. How many more years will it take in order for Chicanos to wake up and snap out of the blind sheep mentality?

The old way of doing things is no longer working for us anymore. Chicanos have become too passive and have not asserted ourselves to changing things that have a direct impact on our community. How can we snap out of it, only to reinvent ourselves, adapt with changing times, and leapfrog things 10 years in advance? Why does it seem that more of us react to things instead working on proactive ideas?

I believe one way to get out of the rut is to look and learn from other visionaries like Steve Jobs. Jobs was no fool - he said: "One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are." He studied the history of other visionaries like Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell as his journey in life took him on turns, valley dips and the peaks of hills.

It was his passion and assertiveness that changed the entire globe. It was his ability to master intuitiveness because he did not allow the noise and clamor of the others to take him off focus. He was a natural-born hippie that allowed him to be comfortable in his own skin as he worked autonomously with regard to key decisions he had to make. Jobs had a gift and the ability to focus, and because he believed - he often got what he wanted.

Many people did not know that Steve Jobs was emotional. He was extremely passionate and would sometimes burst into tears on matters that affected the companies he created. It is all right to be passionate. It is all right to be emotional. Jobs viewed himself an artist - and he was because an artist is a person who creates. Jobs helped to create tools that help humanity. The ripple in the pond he gave us continues to permeate even after his death.

In reading the Steve Jobs book by Walter Isaacson, I was happy to learn that Jobs did not easily receive ideas from just anyone. He scrutinized the ideas. In my view, he wanted to be convinced. He had to be convinced. He wanted folks who were selling him an idea to guarantee why their ideas would work. He wanted to see if people had foresight and knew what the hell they were really talking about. He never seemed to just easily accept what others told him because he wanted to be resolved and had to believe in those ideas in order to defend them.

How many Chicanos out there easily accept what others tell them without verifying it first? We see this happen in religion, the school systems, politics, foundations, business culture, groups and organizations.

Jobs challenged others with sheer veracity and would sometimes put a person through a meat grinder before he would finally agree with them. Mexican-Americans ought to do the same.

Jobs also believed the laws of nature didn't apply to him thereby giving him the ability to think differently. How many times do Chicanos limit themselves because they get stuck into the groove of things? [Steve Jobs asked this of himself and constantly worked at reinventing himself.] Do we have tunnel vision? Do we get caught up in certain paradigms and/or belief systems? Do we really want to invite others who carry a defeatist attitude into our lives? Or do we want to use our minds and create solutions that are not the norm? We ought not put limits on ourselves.

Are you passionate about changing the school systems for the better? Are you passionate about creating a business entity that can fill a need? Are you passionate about the direction of our Nation? The globe?

How many more years will it take before we see more Chicanos take the bull by the horns and become more innovative - working on making decisions that are 10 years ahead of our time?

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you sick of how delayed we seem to be in solving problems?

We must assert ourselves and be ahead of the curve as the revolutionary awakening grabs hold. I urge friends and loved ones to look at other heroes and visionaries throughout history. The Steve Jobs book by Walter Isaacson will make an excellent gift for the New Year season to anyone who wants to try to become a fresh new spirit; and I particularly recommend this book because Jobs was ahead of his time. We must and we ought to think of solutions that will bring us ahead of the curve.

The way we communicate moving forward is vital. Gone are the days of old excuses and playing the victim card. We now have innovative tools the previous generation didn't have, and we should consider ourselves lucky to have this inventive platform in place where we can launch our ideas.

As we look to new ways of communication in an attempt to solving the complex problems of our universe - we ought to consider why a John Lennon or Marvin Gaye song has everlasting global and sustaining reach instead of the pundit who is merely criticizing others without producing and working on solutions to problems at hand.

Look at your leaders. Are they merely reactionary? Or, are they proactive and working on solving problems 10 years ahead.

I think it's time to snap out of this crusty old thinking, and it might be a healthy idea for us to evaluate whether or not we are becoming blind sheep. Life-giving blood is constantly on the move in our veins, but do we act like it? Should we not be more alive, passionate and become a positive source of energy?