In 1980 or there abouts when I was a teenager in Dublin, Ireland, my eldest sister, Jennifer, wanted to go to the University of London in England to do a Masters degree in ergonomics. There was nowhere in Ireland to study this and our only choice was London. But we could not afford it. So, together as a family, we researched all the big company’s in Ireland who had money and drafted a letter to them asking them to help send my sister to university. Because I had learnt to type by that point, I was elected to type the many letters to send to every successful company working in Ireland. Believe me it was a lot of letters to type. There were a lot of no replies, a lot of rejections but a few companies did reply offering to help. One of those companies was Apple – they had a factory in Ireland.

I addressed the letter to Steve Jobs. He replied and said he would help. Not only did he help but he also gave us our first computer, our first printer. We named our dog after him – Ula – which means apple in Gaelic. He had a huge impact on my life to do with following one’s dreams and the generosity of spirit that is necessary in fulfilling them.
I heard today that he was just 56 years old when he passed. My sister is now 53 years old. Steve was in his mid twenties when he said “Sure, what do you need?” to my family. He was in his twenties!!!! He was not a multi-millionaire – he just believed in following dreams. He was following his dream and also helping others follow theirs. There was no ego in it, no pay off for him. There was nothing my sister had to do, nothing we had to prove.
I have only ever had a Mac computer since then but more importantly I promised myself I would follow my dreams and support others in following their dreams.
He had a huge impact on me then but realising that he was just a few years older than my sister when he helped us… well I am blown away. It’s seems so surprising to me not that he was so successful, rich, creative or visionary but that consistently, from an early age, he was so generous of spirit and deed.
Deep bow.