Earlier this week the world mourned the loss of a great innovator in Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs turned a company, Apple, that was struggling into a world leader in technology and arguably one of the most recognized and sought after brands in the world.
Now, this weekend the sports world is once again mourning the loss of someone who was such a pioneer in his sport, Al Davis, the managing partner of the Oakland Raiders. Al served just about every position one could in football and was one of the leading forces in getting the merger of the AFL into the NFL and creating professional football as we know it today.
I only know what the media has posted about these men, I never had a chance to meet either. I really have no idea of who they really were, only their macro contributions to the world. And for these macro contributions they are truly unique and that is why the world knows them so well.
It has been a very interesting last few weeks for me. It is the first time that I have gone through the celebration of the Jewish Holidays without my father being a presence. The New Year dinner at my Mom’s house seemed a little empty without my dad. I sat through memorial services for the first time.
As opposed to both Mr. Jobs and Mr. Davis, I knew a lot about my dad and his contributions in his world. I would consider those micro contributions, but just as important as what Jobs and Davis accomplished.. You read me right, just as important as the macro contributions of Jobs and Davis. And the holidays once again put this all into perspective for me.
There can be no argument that what both Jobs and Davis accomplished in their lives, on a macro level, affected more people and involved billions of dollars more than any of my father’s contributions.
But let’s be honest, how many of us can expect to do what either Jobs or Davis were able to accomplish in their lifetimes. While it is truly the American dream to try, the reality is that there will be few that get to the levels of Jobs and Davis. This is exactly why the accomplishments of my Dad, on a micro level are just as important as the big macro contributions.
It is the sum of all the individuals in the world that make it a collective place to live. Take for example the school crossing guard that I see on my morning drive on Vine St. The minute he steps into the street he is waving his stop sign at oncoming traffic…you better stop. His facial expression wills you to stop. He is just a volunteer, but he has been doing his job for as long as I can remember and he protects the kids. It doesn’t seem like much, but he makes a huge difference in the lives of the people that he protects. A micro contribution to the world, but a macro contribution to the school and its students.
There is a bumper sticker that I remember seeing more than once. It is simple and all it says is “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty”. I, for one, will be trying to do this more and more as it is one way that I can make the world a little bit better and honor my father at the same time.