A friend just gave me a copy of the commencement address that the late, great computer entrepreneur Steve Jobs gave in June of 2005 at Stanford University. It impressed me deeply. Jobs was chosen to give this graduation speech, despite having himself dropped out of college after only six months, as he noted at the start of his talk.
Jobs was born to an unmarried college graduate student who gave him up for adoption immediately. She wanted his adoptive parents to be highly educated, but when the time came, the chosen pair preferred have a baby girl, and Steve was given to a couple much less educated who agreed to see that he went to college, as they themselves had not.
Note the bias in his bio-mom’s evaluation of the two couples: the college-educated should have been the better parents, his biological mother thought, yet it turns out that the parents Jobs got may well have done even better. Despite their working-class income, they accepted the responsibility of saving their money so their son could go to an expensive college of his choice. They nurtured his independence, rather than stifling it.
Half a year of college convinced Steve Jobs he was wasting his parents’ hard-earned money and his own time. He quit, but stayed around the school and attended classes that were of interest to him, living hand-to-mouth with various friends.
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