The Uniqueness of Steve Jobs

10/06/2011 01:59 pm ET | Updated Dec 06, 2011
  • Diana Nyad Long-distance swimmer, journalist, and broadcaster


With millions of others today, I am both burdened with sadness and lifted with inspiration as we stand in awe and applaud the uniqueness of Steve Jobs. Like the other geniuses and visionaries of various eras... Aristotle, Einstein... Jobs was a Thinker of grand magnitude who could then impart that magic to us, the lay public.

As a non-techie, I surprised myself by tuning into every Steve Jobs keynote that was web-broadcast. His sense of delight, his boyish twinkle of the eye, as he lovingly handled and introduced the first iPhone was the stuff of Walt Disney many decades ago, mesmerizing us with the fairy dust of his new animation technology.


I sat spellbound to hear Jobs explain so simply how remedial the homo sapien is, as an athlete moving on the Earth... until he got onto a bicycle. With a bicycle, the human evolves into an efficient specimen. Then Jobs takes a beat, grins that boyish grin, and you can feel the palpable joy within him when he says "the computer is the bicycle for our minds."

Steve Jobs will be associated forever with the cultural icons who stepped outside the establishment. The "Think Different" Apple ads feature Dylan and Hitchcock and Picasso and Gandhi and Ali but the understated message is that Steve Jobs lives on that same unique pedestal. The words of that ad could well serve as today's eulogy to Mr. Jobs:

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. They're not fond of rules and they hold no respect for the status quo.... They push the human race forward.... The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

The beloved, iconic, captivating symbol of the Apple, tiny bite taken, will remind us every day for the rest of our lives, and then through many generations beyond us, that a gentle genius created technology that went so far as to beguile us. Steve Jobs' mind has blown our collective mind. Rest in peace, Steve, as we fondly and passionately remember your urging us all to "Think Different."