Spreading a Little Joy with Steve Jobs and George Harrison

Thanks for thinking different, guys...

By , Contributor

Reflection of a life well-lived...

You may not have heard of 19-year-old Hong Kong resident Jonathan Mak Long, but you've probably seen one of his designs in the past few days. It's a take on the Apple logo.

I put it on my Facebook profile the day after the Apple co-founder died. When the design is reduced in size to a Facebook thumbnail, it's hard to see the Jobs profile - it simply looks like the famous Apple "bite" Mac aficionados like myself have grown to love.

According to Jonathan, 180,000 people contacted him expressing praise for his design. The number could have been 100 times that if enough people knew who was responsible for the artwork. Even then, he thought the response was simply crazy.

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It was nice to see, a "just one more thing" that we didn't get because Jobs wasn't there to introduce the Apple iPhone 4s and new Apple CEO Tim Cook had to do it. I also found it reassuring that, despite the doomsayers about Apple's certain demise now that its resident creative genius has passed on, the new phone is nevertheless a huge success.

Steve Jobs was so forward thinking, he left behind four years of advance planning for the company he loved. That's vision, and thinking of others.

I've observed that the loss we feel when someone passes is directly proportional to the joy they brought us when they were alive. And joy creators cut across social divisions. Steve Jobs was, apparently, an ardent Democrat, with Al Gore on his board at Apple, but the voice of the American right, Rush Limbaugh, made a special point of praising Jobs for everything he'd done. Citing how his fans had criticized him for being an evangelist for Apple products, Limbaugh said:

I talk about Apple and Jobs because I love greatness. I just love greatness. I am fascinated by it. I am intrigued by how it happens. I'm intrigued about every aspect of greatness and excellence, because it's so genuinely rare. It is genuinely rare and exciting, and I am mesmerized by it. I'm inspired by it.

Me, too. Last night I watched Martin Scorsese's great new documentary about George Harrison, Living in the Material World. I subscribed to HBO to see it. It's as poignant and as inspiring as the accounts of Steve Jobs that began rolling out as soon as he passed. And again, the loss I felt when it was over was directly proportional to the joy Harrison gave me.

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At the end of the trailer, Harrison says, "People always say to me, I'm the Beatle that changed the most, but really, that's what I see life is about. You have to change."

Isn't that the truth?

After Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computer, they got into legal hassles with The Beatles' Apple Corps over trademark infringement. The battles continued, off and on, from 1978 to 2006. On November 10, 2010 Beatles albums were finally available on the iTunes store. It was a happy day for all concerned.

If Steve Jobs and George Harrison were around to leave us with some final words, it might simply be, "Spread joy."

The way Jonathan Mak Long did. It's a lesson we all could learn more often.

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Skip Press is an author and teacher who has been active in Hollywood for decades. He knows as much about the inner workings of celebrity Scientology as anyone alive.

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