Steven Jobs In My Company of Friends.

I like to sign my correspondence, “Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends.” A more complete version would read, “Yours for the pursuit of God and the good in the company of friends.”

Adding pursuit of “the good” allows for the category the feisty Francis Schaeffer referred to as “co-belligerents.” I say feisty because I think our pursuit of God and the good without belligerence would be more productive–could we at least agree on a kinder gentler belligerence?

I’m thinking about this because I read two pieces today that encouraged me along these lines. Sarah Vowell, an avowed capital-D Democrat and frequent contributor to one of my favorite radio shows, “This American Life,” had some nice things to say about Pat Robertson because he is joining with Bono and others to combat Aids in Africa.

And then I read about the phone call initiated by iPod creator Steven Jobs, to Errol Rose, whose 15-year-oldson was murdered by a bunch of young of thugs who wanted an iPod and killed his son to get one.

NYT’s Kareem Fahim opens the story as follows, ” As Errol Rose made preparations on Monday to bury his 15-year-old son, Christopher, who was killed last week in Brooklyn during a fight over an iPod, he received a telephone call from a stranger. The man spoke in tones that the grieving father said had momentarily quieted his anguish. The stranger, Mr. Rose soon learned, was Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple Computer, the company that makes the iPod. “I didn’t know who he was,” Mr. Rose said yesterday. “He called me on my cell-phone, at 4 maybe. Or maybe it was 5.” Mr. Rose said he had stopped noticing the passage of time since his son was killed. The men spoke for a few minutes. Calling him by his first name, Mr. Jobs asked how Mr. Rose was doing, he said, and conveyed his sympathies. “He told me that he understood my pain,” Mr. Rose said. “He told me if there is anything – anything – anything he could do, to not be afraid to call him. It really lightened me a bit.”

Rose goes on to observe this about Job’s empathetic call, ” “Some people talk to you like they’re something remote,” Mr. Rose said. “He was so familiar. After every word, he paused, as if each word he said came from his heart.”

Rose then offers these words of common-sense wisdom. “We live in a world which is changing rapidly,” We have the technology that can give us the iPod and everything else, but it’s not all these things. We have to work on the minds and the hearts. We’re failing these kids. We’re not loving them like we’re supposed to.”

For Steven Jobs to reach out like this was a decent and good act. I know full well his pursuit of God has taken a different route than mine, but his pursuit of good means, in this case, he is part of my “company of friends.”

For more on his journey read Steven Job’s Stanford Graduation Speech.
Yours for the pursuit of God and the good in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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