Robin Williams was here. There is no denying it. His existence contributed a tremendous verse of free flowing creative expression to this powerful play of life and identity.
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” (Quote from dead poets society brought to life by Robin Williams)
There is a certain extra sadness to the notion that someone so genuinely funny could at the same time be suffering so greatly in a tragic struggle with mental health. Here at Think Positive Apparel we talk of bringing more positivity into our lives. Typically these include breathing exercises, meditating, and mindfulness… but would any of those actually helped Robin? How long ago would he have had to begin them? How regularly would he have had to practice them?
“Comedy is acting out optimism.”
Losing this artistic titan to depression and ultimately suicide has brought the spot light back on mental health. How far are we from a truly effective solution for people who struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide? Years? Decades? Centuries? Is it even possible? I believe it is.
Until we do there are over 350 million people world wide (according to the World Health Organization) that are struggling with depression. To put that in perspective “Each year globally, about 14 million people learn they have cancer and 8 million people die from the disease.” (Center for Disease Control) Which is awful and deserves attention but think about how many people you know that have been affected by cancer and now consider how many people in your own life are struggling with depression.
As we move through our day, let us remember to move with compassion. As J.M. Barrie said, “Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” Robin Williams certainly was; a real tough one. And, statistically speaking, so are many other people in your own community and life right now. Maybe even you. The number one piece of advice for battling depression is to develop a strong support structure of other people in our lives. The solution starts with working together compassionately.
Depression, suicide… are these facts of life or will there come a day when humanity has the tools to erase depression? Can we eradicate depression and suicide? Certainly we can lower the numbers.
We live in a new era where I believe people are stepping into a new consciousness. We have to stand up as leaders and be the change we wish to see in the world. We have to take the time to meditate, pray, chant, whatever it is that you believe will bring you to stillness so you can fill back up. We need to stand up for our brothers and sisters and be kind and show the world that peace on earth is possible.
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Be the change you wish to see.
Thank you Robin Williams. You will be missed, remembered, and always loved.