Another Beethoven

Steve Jobs’ legacy is not only that of the beautiful sleek shiny products that were to transform technology, not simply the hours of pleasure he brought to countless children and families by his innovations at Pixar, but what is also true is that he is undoubtedly the pro-life beacon, the Beethoven of our age.

Jobs’ biological father was a Syrian political science professor named Abdulfattah John Jandali and his biological mother was student Joanne Carole Shieble. They met at the University of Wisconsin but didn’t marry according to Jandali, because Joanne’s Jewish father forbade her from marrying a Syrian.

Jobs’ birth took place in 1956, 17 years before Roe v Wade legalised abortion in America and thus his mother clearly felt that she had no other choice. In another interesting twist, the original prospective adoptive parents had a change of heart, deciding not to adopt Steve as they really wanted a girl, hence he went to the second parents on the list, who received a late-night phone call to inform them that a baby was available.

Perhaps of more interest is the fact that Joanne almost called a halt to the adoption, refusing to sign the papers when she realised that the working-class Jobs’ family did not have college degrees, echoing some of the decisions made by today’s social workers when deciding upon issues of suitability of prospective couples. How would Jobs’ life turned out had he been adopted elsewhere? Imagine what we would have lost had he not been born? Like Beethoven Jobs was a creative visionary, the circumstances of his birth were hardly ideal and yet he brought pleasure and will continue to do so, to countless millions.

The pro-life vision extends from moment of conception to moment of natural death. Steve Jobs received his diagnosis of terminal cancer in 2004, being told he had 3-5 months left. No-one would have blamed him had he sought a painless swift death, instead of years of gruelling medical treatment, including reported transplants. And yet his impending death inspired him to go on to greater heights of achievement, including the iPhone and the IPad. He made his peace with the daughter whose existence he had denied for years and admitted his behaviour had been less than perfect. Death, he said, gave him focus and clarity.

He made his final public appearance, 2 days before his death, facing his illness with quiet courage and determination.

Not bad for an unplanned baby who dropped out of college.

Thanks for the shinys Steve. RIP.