I can’t stop thinking about it. Robin Williams. Gone. By his own hand. It feels devastatingly sad.
This was a man who was universally loved. Do you ever remember anyone saying “I hate Robin Williams”? Even for people (like me) who are not much into the whole Hollywood, TMZ, People Magazine, pop culture “thing”.
I loved him. I respected him. I laughed at and with him. And even more than his comedic roles, I loved his dramatic ones. Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite movies ever.
He was brilliant and talented beyond measure. He had, by our society’s standards, a perfect life. The talent, the looks, the money, the success, the family, the accolades, the humanitarian nature–he truly seemed to have it all.
Now, I have read enough this week to know that there are many viewpoints on both the coverage of Robin Williams death and the circumstances that led him to take his own life. I am not here to weigh in on any of that.
I understand that there are wars going on and the excessive coverage of one mans suicide might be considered overblown.
I also understand that mental illness and addiction is something that needs to be talked about more– much more. But I will leave that to both the experts and those like Russell Brand and Glennon from Momastery, who can speak to it much more intimately and eloquently than I.
But for me, the quote that keeps running through my head is:
“Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
I wish we could and would keep this in mind, all of the time.
It applies to every person you have contact with:
The ones who put up a good front.
The ones who tell it like it is.
The ones who seem to have it all.
The ones who are grumpy.
The ones who are sweet.
The ones who cut you off in traffic.
The ones who always say hello.
The ones who are rude.
The ones who always have a kind word.
The ones who don’t smile back when you pass them.
The ones who are cheap.
The ones who are generous.
The ones who are bitchy.
The ones who are funny.
The ones who are loud.
The ones who are quiet.
The ones who are bastards.
The ones who are happy.
The ones that are sad.
The ones that are angry.
The ones who are always out.
The ones who always stay home.
The ones who have known success.
The ones who have known failure.
Some of us are pretty good at handling things, some of us aren’t and some of us are very, very good at pretending.
And this is why we should all be kind, all the time. Both to ourselves and to everyone around us. We simply never know what people are going through. We never know what they are trying to handle, what demons they face, what life circumstances are weighing them down.
It is easy to get angry and frustrated at other people’s bad behavior. But ask yourself–what might be happening in their life that led them to behave that way?
It is easy to think that happy friend of yours has it all together and that her life is perfect. But ask yourself—what is going on that she might not be telling you?
It is easy to lash out when someone treats you poorly. But ask yourself—is how they treated you a reflection of how they feel about themselves?
I have never ever met or known of a single person who has not dealt with life’s sorrows: be it grief, anger, betrayal, addiction, illness, low self esteem, body image issues, marriage issues, parenting issues, struggling children, career loss, money problems or crippling fear of life.
Not one person on the planet is immune. Not Robin Williams and especially not you, me and the people who touch our lives on a daily basis.
So how about if we take this very difficult loss to heart and try to do something positive?
For everyone we see and meet,
Let’s be kind.
Let’s look them in the eye.
Let’s look deeply and see them for who they truly are
–struggling, perfectly imperfect human beings.
Just like you and me.
Let’s make a connection.
Let’s smile at them.
Let’s wish them well.
Let’s offer them a hand.
Let’s give them a hug.
It might not seem like much.
But you never know, for someone it might make all the difference.
Sending light and love.