Jobs says he authorized biography so his kids can know him.
As I saw this headline, my first thought was sadness. To live a life and realize at the end of it that your children revere you as provider...and stranger. And then I started thinking about those few individuals that live in any given generation that sacrifice their own families in order to serve the world at large. Whether you admire or abhor Steve Jobs, we have to sit and think through what it means to sacrifice. Did he make billions of dollars? Yes. But now his children are sitting with a filled bank account, but empty memories of their father. And guys like that aren't usually doing what they are doing for the money. They are visionaries. Thinkers. Motivators. World Changers.
At what point does one realize that they will have to sacrifice themselves for the sake of others?
That they have been placed in such an extroordinary position that their lives will require more of them than most.
It's easy to villianize this type of person. To say that they neglected their families and they should have been home more. But, let us also realize that if Jobs decided to pull back, the ripple effects of his absence would be too numerous to measure. I for one am thankful for his sacrifice and hopeful that his kids will see that sacrifice and be grateful one day too.
*** As a quick sidenote: I think that this type of extraordinary talent happens in only a handful of people in each generation. I do not in fact endorse people using lame excuses to not be with their families. That is all.