I stopped feeling as if I didn’t belong anywhere, and realized that I belonged anywhere I wanted to be.Sophia Amoruso (via coyotegold)
With the recent passing of Mr. Robin Williams, a man who so many of us grew up loving, watching and cherishing the movies he starred in as well as the roles he brought to life so vividly and beautifully, a lot of things have been written about his death, a significant amount of which has to do with his suicide. From opinions and personal experiences to scientific studies on depression, it has become a major topic, sort of like a triggered domino effect affecting people’s emotions and their stance on these matters.
While I avoid expressing my opinion or emotionally responding to any of the events that have to do with celebrities especially, in this case I will make an exception. Not only because he was an amazing actor, and to my understanding an extremely humble and wonderful person, but also because I feel like people only focus on the side of him that made them laugh. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But whenever I read someone referring to him, respectfully I am sure, as “funny man” or “comedian” something just doesn’t feel right. Like you are stealing away from the whole picture, and focus on a very tiny part of his artistic greatness. While he made people laugh, often also “near him” (Dead Poets Society), I wonder who might have had considered at the time if he was indeed trying to mask something of his own emotional world? And people now have suddenly begun to analyze and look for indications that can relate either socially or scientifically to other cases in life, as well as reasons to have ignited the way he passed. Is it only me who thinks this is unfair?
With so many cases of depression, bipolar disorder and general psychological issues and inner dissatisfaction, unhappiness and occasional emotions of misery present in many people’s lives, I wonder what does that really mean, when only after such a tragic event, people initiate discussion of these matters on a global scale? Awareness? Possibly yes, more people could be made aware of these issues. But how will awareness sustain the interest and lead to commitment in the sense of true and meaningful human communication?
How many of us even stop and wonder throughout our daily social interactions, if the people we casually (and more frequently than not superficially) ask how they are, ARE genuinely okay? Feel okay? Or if that smile is not a well-rehearsed one, a smile without a hint of something choking them deep inside?
How often do you stop and carefully pay attention to what someone shares with you? How many times do you refrain from checking your dumb-phone and really listen to someone’s tone, expression or look them in their eyes without looking for distractions or thinking about your own stuff? It’s always possible to sense things - yet this is the tragedy of today’s living people: there is neither the time, dedication or interest to do so. Yet surprisingly, so many suddenly find the time to analyze a truly big loss and its many possible driving forces. Suddenly we all have an opinion. We quickly jot down a facebook status in seconds and post it, reblog something, like or link a page, and there. It’s done. We did our part. We contributed. Could we possibly have mistaken this for genuine caring, even though it requires the least amount of interaction or engagement in a matter? The next day, we will do it all the same old way - fail to remotely, truly care for others around us. But opinions, oh, there’s plenty of time for those. Blame it on technology? Yes, by all means, if you must go for the easy way out, please do so. But if only we just realized, how much like a chain our interactions and communicative habits are in reality and how much they affect us all GLOBALLY, maybe then we would all be in a better, brighter and happier place. Try and remember that the next time you share a very “touching and humane” video - before you scroll further down (the newest version of zapping, no?) and get sucked in the vacuum of the not-so-social-media.
There is nothing wrong with mourning for someone you’ve never met. There is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings online or writing about how they have affected you or your life. Nor should you feel guilty explaining yourself to others because of that. However, the absurd claim that “suicide is selfish” is something that is utterly selfish to claim in the first place. Given the countless arguments for the human nature’s selfish core in the first place, combined with the numerous examples of true selfishness one faces on a daily basis, how can that even stand as a claim? My (very wild) guess is, to soothe those remaining behind, those who lose someone, or worse, those who failed to connect with someone on a very basic human level. How is it selfish though, when those too absorbed in their own indifference-bubble fail to even notice that something just doesn’t seem right?
Nobody knows what lives inside someone’s head and what lingers behind their radiant smile, which to the most observant ones could speak miles of the unspoken. Nobody knows - until all of a sudden they are fiercely shaken awake and decide to put the pieces together. This immense sensitivity has always been what differentiates artists from other people. If you doubt it, go look up composers, writers, painters, musicians, actors. So many led a difficult life, with struggles, pain and excruciating awareness of the reality and the true essence of the people surrounding them. Yet they produced masterpieces. And many invisible, normal, every day people have gone through and continue to go through their own tragic events in life - however little you may know of them.
We are first and foremost human beings, then all else. We each contribute with our own verse, however humble or grand. So please, don’t downgrade someone with labels like comedian, funny man etc. For someone so richly gifted to make people FEEL things and remember those feelings years to come, it just sounds.. beyond inadequate.
From Dead Poets Society and Good Morning Vietnam to Jumanji and Hook, and so many other movies and performances in between, Robin Williams was brilliant - in every possible way that this word can convey. He will be dearly remembered, I believe, not because he made us laugh, but because he expressed multiple colorful fragments of our sad yet beautiful mortal existence. For it is only humans who are astonishingly capable of both great beauty and extreme cruelty.
I know exactly what I would do with immortality: I would read every book in the library.Mark Jason Dominus (via bibliophilebunny)