Tim Cook Receiving The Lifetime Achievement Award
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[Tim Cook Receiving The Lifetime Achievement Award]
[Timothy Donald “Tim” Cook (November 1, 1960):]
I’m incredibly humbled to be with all of you tonight. I feel like I’m back home. And thank you. I’d like to thank Auburn University, I’d like to thank the College of Human Sciences, I’d like to thank the Dean and the President. It is truly a very, very special honor for me to receive this. And I’m sure that many others who have received it before I did deserved it more, but I can assure you that none appreciated it more. So thank you very much. [Applause]
This award is made all the more special for me and Howard Buffett is also here this evening. Howard has done so much through his foundation and his work and in his writing. He is a role model for all of us and I’m just honored to be in the same room with him. Thank you, Howard. [Applause]
Now I’m going to make my comments brief, but I may ask for one extra second at the end because we all know how much of a difference that can make. [Applause & Laughing] Yes, Auburn is still very much in me.
[Tim Cook:] Source: LYBIO.net
On a serious note, tonight we’re in the hallowed halls of the United Nations and one of the key principals in the UN Charter is to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and nations large and small. These are very simple, yet very powerful words and they are at the core of my beliefs and values.
Growing up in Alabama in the 1960’s, I saw the devastating impacts of discrimination. Remarkable people were denied opportunities and treated without basic human dignity, solely because of the color of their skin. And not far from where I lived, I remember very vividly witnessing a cross burning at such a remarkable family.
This image was permanently imprinted in my brain and it would change my life forever. For me, the cross burning was a symbol of ignorance, of hatred and a fear of anyone different than the majority. I could never understand it. And I knew then that America’s and Alabama’s history would always be scarred by the hatred that it represented.
Since these early days, I have seen and I have experienced many other types of discrimination and all of them were rooted in the fear of people that were different than the majority.
In my office, if you were so to come visit me, and I encourage you to do it, you would see three photos. Two are of Robert Kennedy and one is of Reverend Martin Luther King. They sacrificed everything, including their lives, as champions of human rights and human dignity. Their images inspire me. They serve as a reminder to me everyday that regardless of the path that one chooses there are fundamental commitments that should be a part of one’s journey. For this reason and many others, I was very fortunate that my life’s journey took me to Apple. In addition to finding a company and a founder unlike any other, I found in Apple a company that deeply believed in advancing humanity through its products and through the equality of all of its employees.
Now much has changed since my early days at Apple, but these values, which are at the very heart of our company, remain the same. These values guide us to make our products accessible for everyone. People with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged. They’re frequently left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others. But Apple’s engineers push back against this unacceptable reality. They go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness, to various muscular disorders.
I receive hundreds of emails from customers every day. I read them all. Often, they are written like one might talk to you at the dining room table at night.
Last week, I received one from a single mom with a 3-year-old autistic son who was completely non-verbal. The child had recently been given an iPad, and as a result, his mother told me that for the first time in his life, he had found his voice. I receive scores of these incredible stories around the world and I never tire of reading them.
[Tim Cook:] Source: LYBIO.net
We design our products so they surprise and delight everyone who uses them and we never, never ever analyze the return on investment. We do it because it is just and right. And that is what respect for human dignity requires, and it is a part of Apple that I am especially proud of. [Applause]
These values also guide us to educate the employees of companies we work with on their human rights. We provided training for more than 2 million people around the world, many of whom work in our factories. These values lead us to insist that the companies we work with comply with our code of conduct, which in many cases go far beyond laws.
We have hundreds of people at Apple and in our factories doing this important work every day. It’s a very tough job. It requires honesty, resilience and determination and it all comes down to human dignity. These values have also recently guided us to support legislation that demands equality and non-discrimination for all employees, regardless of who they love. [Applause] This legislation – This legislation known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. I have long believed in this and Apple has implemented protection for employees even when the laws did not. Now is the time to write these basic principles of human dignity into the book of law. [Applause]
Each of us who lives in the United States has the good fortune to be faced with vast opportunities for living out the words in the Human Charter in who we vote for, in what organizations we join, what causes we support; and which we challenge, how we engage in public dialog and debate, the organization we choose to work for and finally, the work – the hard work as referenced in the Auburn Creed that we choose to do. The opportunities are vast. The challenge is to commit and to act. Human rights and dignity are great philosophical principals. But the hard work of executing on these principals depends on our individual acts every day.
Robert Kennedy spoke about the importance of these smallest efforts of each one of us. He said and I quote “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. Those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Each generation is presented with its own unique opportunities to address any quality and injustice to respect human rights and the dignity and the worth of the human person. This work is never finished, but it is always possible. As Nelson Mandela, who I’m sure is on everyone’s mind this evening. He said “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion or anything else. And if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love”. As Reverend King said “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Today we have an opportunity. We have an opportunity to continue our progress with respect to race and also to embrace immigration reform and eliminate discrimination of the GLBT community. [Applause]
So I’ll close tonight with a challenge. It is a challenge to all of us, but especially to those young people who are here tonight.
Human rights have many times been driven by young, by the young who are not married to the prejudices of the past.
Think hard about the words in the UN Charter and if you believe as I do, push with all your might to influence your representatives to vote against discrimination.
[Tim Cook:] Source: LYBIO.net
If you believe as I do, advocate and push for immigration reform that recognizes basic human rights and human dignity. Both of these are great for the American economy, but do not do them because they are economically sound, although they are. Do them because they are right and just. Never allow the majority to limit the rights of the minority. [Applause] Never allow people – never allow people who fear anyone different from themselves to limit others human rights or deny others human dignity. [Applause]
So tonight, I’d like to take that one additional second to encourage you to set forth your tiny ripple of hope. You might just find you can change the arc of history. Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate the team and the [ ]. Thank you. Thank you.
Tim Cook Receiving The Lifetime Achievement Award. I found in Apple a company that deeply believed in advancing humanity through its products and through the equality of all of its employees. Complete Speech Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.