One of our brightest lights was dimmed last week with the passing of Robin Williams. I found myself grieving deep sadness for a man I never met, but who had played a profound and impactful role in my childhood. He was a comfort and a joy to us all- a spiritual teacher in his own fashion. In re-watching his work, I realized his lesson plan accounted for so much more than making people laugh. His mastery was in his ability to touch the very raw and vulnerable human condition, as well as the greatest potential of our in-spirited being, standing as the bridge between both worlds. His true genius is what he has left behind…
YOU’RE ONLY GIVEN A LITTLE SPARK OF MADNESS. YOU MUSTN’T LOSE IT.
Be bold. Be courageous. Be totally weird. It is that spark where the genius lies- the unique expression of your soul. Do not dull down that brilliance! Yeah, people may judge you and they may criticize you. But it is only because they have forgotten how to fly. The world is made up of Lost Boys and Pirates but there is a Pan in each of us. It is this presence with which we must reconvene and venture forth.
THAT THE POWERFUL PLAY GOES ON AND YOU MAY CONTRIBUTE A VERSE. WHAT WILL YOUR VERSE BE?
Be led by what you love. Live with kindness, compassion and integrity. Ask, “How may I serve?” and go out and do it! It is by living in this way, that you re-write this great play, O’ Life. Let your verse be the truth in which you live and breathe, so that when all that remains is this mark you’ve left, it has altered hearts and exalted our world, and we are all better for it.
WHY CAN’T WE TREAT DEATH WITH A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF HUMANITY AND DIGNITY, AND DECENCY, AND GOD FORBID, MAYBE EVEN HUMOR. DEATH IS NOT THE ENEMY GENTLEMEN. IF WE’RE GOING TO FIGHT A DISEASE, LET’S FIGHT ONE OF THE MOST TERRIBLE DISEASES OF ALL, INDIFFERENCE.
Robin wore many masks and walked in many shoes. Until we have done so ourselves, we have no right to judge or diagnose someone else’s pain. It is personal and it deserves respect. It is this judgment and disconnection from one another that has caused those in pain to reach for an end to it. It has caused us to close our own hearts, to disguise our depth of feeling with indifference. WE ARE NOT INDIFFERENT. WE ARE HUMAN. We all cry, and bleed, and laugh, and scream… Why can we not unite in that instead of being at war with it? The very tender souls of this world, like Robin, are the ones that bear their hearts on the line. Let us join them, so we stand together and courageously walk forward in the full spectrum of what it means to be human. We are not separate from the pain of others. Let us contribute to the joy and love of this world, rather than the hurt. We’ve had enough of it.
BUT IF THERE’S LOVE DEAR… THOSE ARE THE TIES THAT BIND.
There is one lesson we are not being taught enough and that is to love ourselves. It is the only saving grace to our pain, and it is a message that Robin screams from beyond the curtain…
YOU MUST LOVE YOURSELF. You must know how valuable you are to this world! You must not be afraid of it! If you knew your worth, you would never give it up to anyone or anything. You are a treasure that you MUST treasure! It doesn’t matter how many people love and adore you. You’re the one lying alone with your thoughts. You’re the one feeling your feelings. You are the only one who can save you when the sadness is heavy and the world feels suffocating. Oh the light that lives within you is so bright! Keep it on. Keep it shining. Stand boldly in it. Do things that make you laugh, that fill you up, that make you smile and pee your pants with insatiable joy! Find your happy thought and hold on tight!
To the genie, the poet, the nanny, the Pan… thank you for your verse. It was nothing short of Bang-a-rang.