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The Last Words of Steve Jobs: Lesson of Mussar

Published on Wednesday September 8th, 2021

Steve Jobs was one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 21st century, most remarkably inventing the famous Apple company. He died in 2011 from cancer. These were his last words:

"I’ve reached the peak of success in business. In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success. However, besides my work, I’ve had little joy. My wealth really became nothing more than a fact that I had gotten used to. 

As I lay here on my hospital bed and reminisce about my life, I realize that all the praise and wealth which I was so proud of are now transformed into something insignificant right now, just before my imminent death.

In the dark, when I look at the green lights of the artificial respiration machine and I hear the buzzing of its mechanical sounds, I can feel that death is hanging over me.

After making enough money for the rest of my days, it is only now that I realize that we must pursue goals that are not in any way related to wealth. There must be a higher goal. For example, love, art, and memories of our youth.

G-d created us so that we can feel love in our hearts. He didn’t do so for us to feel illusions created by my reputation or the money that I’ve made, because these items I cannot take with me. I can only take with me my memories that have been strengthened by love. This is the real wealth that will accompany me and give me the strength to move forward.

Love can travel thousands of kilometers. Life has no limits, you can go anywhere you want. Do your best to achieve the objectives that are set out for you. Everything is in the palms of your hands.

What is the most expensive bed in the world? The hospital bed. If you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but not to take your illness. Material items that have been lost can be retrieved. But there is one thing that you can never find again when you lose it: your life.

Regardless of the stage of life in which you are now, in the end you will have to face the day when the curtain will fall. Treasure the love for your family, your husband, your wife, and your friends.

Everyone should act with love, and take care of one another.

The Gaon of Vilna Once Wrote

“There is a time in life that man cannot describe or even measure its greatness. I am talking about the time when we accompany a man from his home to his grave, that moment when the soul becomes one with itself again. All senses wake up and enable us to find out what we couldn’t see when we were alive. We see the result of our lives. We become aware that all the money and gold, to which we applied ourselves, have no value...”

This is the moment when the soul fully realizes the value of life, when the mitzvot become cherished but one can no longer accomplish them. This is when the soul becomes dependent only on the goodness of the living who, through their actions, will be able to earn the merits it needs.

Let’s internalize this lesson as of today. Start by applying yourself to a small mitzvah, then another, and another, etc. Never give up, because no one knows the day of one’s death.

© Torah-Box

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