The Poverty & Justice Bible, Now in Portuguese

Earlier this year I wrote a review of the Poverty & Justice Bible (PJB). It wasn’t very favorable. This is an edition of the Bible that I’d love to love, but can’t bring myself to like.

My main problem with the PJB was the translation used, the Contemporary English Version. Reading it I found not only questionable translation, but a loss of meaning with key terminology muddled or lost entirely that helps unlock the meaning of Scripture.

This edition of the Bible highlights in orange the passages of Scripture that pertain to poverty and justice issues. Reading it is eye-opening, as the heart of God for justice is plainly revealed. More than any other topic in Scripture, poverty and justice are discussed. This can be surprising to many Christians, particularly in the United States, where sexual morality and “reclaiming” America’s “Christian heritage” have been at the forefront for years.

It’s easy to predict that this edition of the Bible will find a ready audience in Brazil, where social responsibility has been a value esteemed for quite a while, even finding a place in the operation of corporations in that country. The translation used is the Bíblia na Linguagem de Hoje, analogous to the Contemporary English Version. Having not read this translation, however, I can’t say either way whether it will be an improvement over its English counterpart. I have a copy of this version on my phone in the YouVersion app, so I’ll try to look it over and see what I think.

Next year I plan to travel with my family on vacation in Brazil, and I’ll try to obtain a copy of the PJB in Portuguese. If it looks good, it could be a help in advancing the work of HOPE worldwide through churches and into communities in that country.


See Also:

Book Review: The Poverty & Justice Bible 

Bíblia Pobreza e Justiça é ferramenta para entidades do Terceiro Setor (Cidadania Evangélica)

The Poverty and Justice Bible (American Bible Society)

Bíblia Sagrada Pobreza e Justiça (Sociedade Bíblica do Brasil)

Hag’s Hovel

Based on The Atlantean Trilogy fantasy RPG system, copyrights held by
Stephan Michael Sechi.
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this short story are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.
Copyright 2002 Adam W. Gonnerman

Lira Rihod had traveled far seeking knowledge.  Across scorching deserts and Demon’s Maw Abyss, through lush plains and verdant prairie, across the treacherous Goblin’s Peaks and now into the vast Moaning Wood Forest.  Here and there she has stopped, hoping to find some old forgotten spell or ancient artifact.  Her efforts had been rewarded, but scarcely as much as she had hoped.
Unconsciously her right hand thumb fiddled with her only ring, a simple silver piece of jewelry with an inset blue stone.  She had been crossing a shallow lake only a few days before in a small hired boat, when a madman came up out of the water and pulled her over the edge of the boat.  Tales of a monster in the lake kept most natives away from the body of water, and had reportedly driven up the cost of passage across. 
Down, down into the muddy water they descended.  Probably the fool had slain others this way, she thought, but they hadn’t the benefit of Cloak of Free Action.  Swiftly she drew her short sword and plunged it into the man’s chest.  Blood poured out into the already murky water, and in the dim half-light she could vaguely make out his shocked expression as he died.
Touching bottom and almost out of breath, she ran through the murk and found her way back to land.  Lying a while on the rocky beach, the boat she had hired nowhere in sight, her gasping became regular breathing.  Gathering herself, she took a deep breath and went running back into the water, moving as normally in the thick mud as she would on dry land because of her enchanted red cloak.  With a great deal of luck she found the corpse and in the gloom felt what she expected on one of the hands: a ring that permitted her to breath water. 
Thus she came into possession of two most useful items.  The first having been given by a grateful city mayor whose life she had saved from a band of wandering zombies.  (He had later tried to recover the cloak and have Lira burned at the stake, but that’s another story.)
Being a spell-caster already raises suspicions in the minds of simple villagers and farmers, but being a woman spell-caster was even more difficult.  Her chosen field was witchcraft, and as she did practice Black Magic, she tried her best to maintain a low profile.
She was young, barely 17 when her mistress was slain by a mob of angry townsfolk.  In spite of the help the old witch had given them through the years, they had never really trusted her and finally worked themselves into a frenzy when an infant was stillborn and some sheep disappeared the same night.  Thinking her to be to blame and that some demonic scheme was involved, they hired a band of thugs and rushed her secluded cave at the base of the cliff. 
Lira saw it all from a distant hillside.  Returning from gathering herbs in the jungle of this Basilinian-held region of Yassatonia, she heard the cries and screams of the dying from a distance.  Looking across the valley, the setting sun at her back, she watched her desperate mistress defend herself.  She held them off with her magic, slaying the thugs and quite a few of the villagers before, high above, several men managed to dislodge a rocky overhang.  Two fell with it, directly on top of Lira’s lady.
Horrified, Lira ran.  She ran until deep into the night.  She ran without caring, without thinking, without considering what dangers the jungle held.  That night was seared into her memory. 
Only four short years had passed, and the pain was as deep now as ever.  One day, she vowed, she would return more powerful than her slain mistress and destroy that village.  Zoe, Lira’s mistress, had shunned the power of Black Magic, devoting her time and energies to Elemental Magic and Enchantment instead.  Had she studied the darker arts, she would have been able to defend herself, Lira reasoned.  This thought drove her forward, day after day.  This conviction drove her to abandon the weak tinkling of Enchantment in favor of the power of Black Magic.  Yet in her few years of travel, her skill and power had grown precious little, at least in her opinion.
Word had it that a hag resided in these woods.  The weak-minded simpletons of one of the logging villages at the southwestern edge of the great forest had set her on the trail of this crone, and subsequent contact with other travelers and woods dwellers confirmed her presence.  Other dark beings stalked the shadowy undergrowth of this region of ancient trees, but thus far her trip had been relatively peaceful. 
“Well hello there,” a jovial voice called out in booming New N’rodic from beside the trail.  Startled out of her reverie, in an instant she had her short sword drawn and at the ready.  The tall, bulky man that approached her from among the trees had a hefty woodsman’s axe slung casually over his shoulder.  He grinned a big, toothy grin and introduced himself as Delmar the Tall.  Ignoring Lira’s drawn weapon, he casually explained that he was in the area scouting out a specific and relatively uncommon type of tree for his company to come in and fell in the near future.  A wealthy aristocrat in Jimjine City, a ways to the southeast, had contracted them to bring in the finest of woods for the interior of his new mansion.
“So, if you don’t mind my curiosity, what’s a fair lady like you doin’ way out here by herself?  You haven’t heard of the werewolves around here?”
“You don’t seem worried,” Lira replied in faltering New N’rodic.  She’d only begun to learn the language a year ago, and with almost no regular contact with others, her mastery of the tongue hadn’t gotten very far.
With that, the fellow laughed heartily and shook his head.
“Aye, but I be a bit bigger than you, red lady.”
“My name is Lira, and I can take care of myself.”
“Oh, I see,” he frowned, looking her over once more and apparently understanding that she was a magic-user of some kind.
“Now if you don’t mind,” Lira turned to walk away, sheathing her sword and choosing a spell to use should the lummox decide to pursue.
“Well then, see you later,” he ventured.  Lira didn’t bother to respond.
Indeed she had heard of werewolves in the woods, and suspected that there could be some truth to the local superstitions.  This forest was big, home to many monsters, no doubt.  And she was intent on meeting at least one of them.
In an isolated village composed of only 10 houses and one trading post Lira purchased a basket and filled it partially with provisions.  She also placed some of her finer and rarer herbs and spell components in the basket, which she intended on giving to the hag.  She hoped to win the creature’s willingness to take her in and teach her the arcane lore.
Night was falling, but Lira pressed on.  From the worried talk of the townsfolk, the hag’s hovel was very near.
The moon rose and partially illuminated the trail.  She had kept a steady pace for nearly an hour before being brought up short by the figure of a man a short distance ahead of her, standing at a fork in the road.
Resolute, Lira lowered her head and called to mind a spell as she continued forward.  Nearing the man, she glanced up to find that he hadn’t moved, and was staring at her expressionlessly.
Stopping once more, she saw that he was human, about middle-aged and quite handsome.  Most striking was the fact that he appeared to be an albino.
“Would you like some company, my dear?  It certainly isn’t safe out here.”
His voice was smooth.  Armed only with a dagger, wearing simple brown clothing and with only a rucksack slung over his shoulder, he might have been merely a peasant traveling to another town.  Something about his style, though, the way he carried himself, told her that this man was no simple villager.  Then she noticed the magical inscriptions on his wooden staff, and she realized that he was likely a fellow spell-caster.
“You’re the second to offer.  No, I am fine.”
“Surely you are going to the next town.  It is still far from here.  We could keep each other company on the journey,” he said, indicating the well-worn path to his right. 
“No, I go left here.”
Looking curiously at the narrow, overgrown path to his left and then back to Lira, he commented, “Unusual choice.  You do know the stories of a hag at the end of this trail, don’t you?”
“Yes, I plan to meet her.”
“And this basket in your hand?  For her?”
“Perhaps.”
“Well, good luck.  You’ll be needing it, I believe.”
The man continued to stand at the junction as Lira turned down the windy, dark trail.
Strange, nighttime noises sounded out continuously from the forest around her.  It made Lira more than slightly edgy, and twice she almost turned back.  Her determination pushed her forward, her thirst for power negated her reasonable fear of the encounter she planned to have.  Normal people avoid hags.  Even powerful magic-users generally know enough to keep their distance from them.
Crossing a small, rotten wooden bridge, Lira found the path becoming clearer.  In minutes she was at the door of the hovel, the smell of wood smoke filling the air.
“Mistress of the night, o wise women, forgive the intrusion of your humble servant,” she began in the Dark Tongue, trying to maintain her calm as she recited from memory, “your handmaiden comes bearing gifts.  It is hoped that the powerful keeper of secrets who dwell herein might allow this unworthy one to be of service.”
A long paused followed, panic beginning to rise within her.  Lira used all her energy to resist and stand her ground.  Her heart leaped and she almost lost control of her bladder when a voice, creaky like an old rusty hinge, said from within, “Very well young one.  Open the door and make yourself known.”
Trembling, Lira opened the crude door and ducked inside.
The only light was coming from a roaring fire beneath a black pot in the fireplace.  The odor in the place was rank, stinking of rotting meat, dung and wood smoke.  Books and scrolls were strewn about haphazardly.  This hag seemed truly careless with her belongings, thought Lira, as she realized that she was standing on a page from a spell book.
“Closer, child” creaked the voice from a straw bed against the wall to Lira’s left. 
The covered figure seemed larger that expected for a wizened crone, and a black hood was pulled up over her face, exposing only her chin in the dim light.  The scene was far stranger than any Lira had imagined, and only got stranger as she noticed white hairs beginning to sprout out of the hag’s face at an alarming rate.  The hag’s hands also were becoming covered by white fur.
“Forgive my curiosity, mighty one, but your form is much bigger than I had anticipated, and you appear to be transforming,” she said, backing away.
With a roar, the beast leaped out of the bed and upon her, casting away the black cloak and blankets that had covered it.  It was a great white werewolf.
No spell readily in mind and taken quite by surprise, Lira fell heavily to the ground, the werewolf’s weight driving the wind out of her lungs.  The creature clawed at her body, sending waves of pain coursing through her.  With great exertion she doubled up and kicked out with both feet, knocking the werewolf away and allowing her to draw a few gasping breaths. 
The white monster roared, leaping towards her again.  This time she was ready and cast an Eldritch Fire spell that shot out a bolt into the werewolf’s chest.  Yelping loudly as the bolt struck home, leaving a gory black mark on the beast, it continued its assault.  No time left to draw her sword, the creature was on her again, tearing at her chest and belly, attempting to bite her neck.
A loud crash came from the door, and a wet, cracking sound was followed by blood and brains dropping down into Lira’s face.  A large silver-headed axe was sticking out of the now quite dead monster’s head.  As she watched, the axe was withdrawn and the werewolf transformed back into a human.  To her amazement, it was the man from the junction.
Rolling the corpse off of her, the woodsman helped Lira to her feet.
“Hope you don’t mind that I followed you.  Truth be told, I’m not a lumberjack,” at that he guffawed.  Seeing that she wasn’t amused, he continued, “Actually, the villages around these parts got together and hired me and a few other fellers to kill the wolfman, but the first time we found him he was normal, except he’s a witchdoctor!”
“Your fellows were killed, weren’t they?” Lira finally spoke, apparently startling the stout man.
“Yes, well, harrumph!  Yes.  Pretty bad way, too.  I barely escaped, took me weeks to recover.  Anyway, I figured I could kill him when we was in his wolfish form, so I’ve been skulking around these woods for days, waitin’ for my chance.”
“Lucky for me,” commented Lira, even feeling some sincerity in that statement.
“So, uh, you’ll be headin’ back with me then?  I mean, I’d just as soon not stay here too long.  Makes me sort of uneasy.”
“No, I intend to stay a little while. I’d like to have a look around.”  Pensive a moment, she wondered out loud, “Suppose there was ever a hag here?”
“If there was, that were-witchdoctor must have finished her off.”
“Hags are quite powerful, often living on other planes,” this last word being from Basalinian, as she didn’t know the corresponding word in New N´rodic.  It didn’t seem to make much of a difference to the woodsman/bounty hunter.  “If the witchdoctor actually slew her, then it’s no small wonder that you escaped him alive.”
At that the tall man shuddered visibly, and Lira turned to sorting the parchments that were strewn about.
The bounty hunter gathered up the still form of the slain were creature and departed, pausing only briefly to make certain that Lira didn’t want to go with him.
For a moment she regretted not killing him, as surely he suspected that she was a magic user and would tell the villagers.  Then again, he had saved her life, and more than likely superstition would keep the commoners away long enough for her to find out the hag’s/witchdoctor’s secrets.  Deciding not to let it bother her, she stacked the parchments and gathered together what items she suspected might hold magic.  After lighting a hooded lantern and a few candles, then eating some provisions from the basket, she sat down to the first evening of study among many.

And what dark marvels she found.

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” – Steve Jobs – 1955-2011

With the passing of Steve Jobs, the world has lost a visionary leader in technology and business. As many have already commented, he was ahead of the curve and saw what we would want before we even thought about it.

The following is the video and text of Mr. Jobs’ 2005 Commencement address at Standford University. A lot of great thoughts here, but perhaps my favorite:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs


 

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” – Steve Jobs – 1955-2011

With the passing of Steve Jobs, the world has lost a visionary leader in technology and business. As many have already commented, he was ahead of the curve and saw what we would want before we even thought about it.

The following is the video and text of Mr. Jobs’ 2005 Commencement address at Standford University. A lot of great thoughts here, but perhaps my favorite:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs


I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.