Since I’m going to be one of many that are posting about Robin Williams over the next couple days, I’ll let you read other articles to find out about his life, his work, and his influence on the world around him. He was obviously an awesome human being and one of the funniest to ever live. His comedy was on another level, and truly something that nobody else has been able to emulate. He was a unique individual, and had the ability to make anything into a funny situation. I never personally met the guy, but I feel like I knew who he was by watching the characters that he played in some of my favorite movies of all time. Pretty much every movie he has ever made has become a classic to some degree, and I think that that alone says something about what kind of a performer and entertainer he was.
While you’re reading everyone else’s articles about how Robin Williams changed this or that in the world of movies and comedy, and how he was a loving father and whatnot, have this in the back of your mind: he was battling depression, according to some sources, that ended up being a contributing factor in him taking his life. This is a very curious fact considering that other sources over the course of his life have stated that the guy was just always joking and trying to make other people live. He was apparently unable to take life seriously, which was kind of frustrating for other people but was obviously fun for him. He was always a goofy character, even if it was in a serious role. He was deep, thoughtful, and his roles had meaning and substance to them. Whatever drove him to become depressed had to be something serious and real, at least for him.
Everyone, even those who can’t seem to take anything seriously, have problems that they deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes the ones that hide it the best are the ones that are struggling with them the most. I have struggled with depression for a couple years now and I know how debilitating it can be sometimes if there isn’t a support system around me that truly cares about my wellbeing and whether or not I reach my full potential. We will never know what Williams was thinking when he decided to take his own life, but we can leverage this tragedy and start to provide more support for our friends and family members that might be suffering from some sort of depression. Whether you think that the problems that another person is having are significant or not, they are obviously significant to them, or they wouldn’t be acting strangely. People have completely different experiences as they go through life, and even though some of these experiences are shared with other people, they are seen through a completely different lens. Perception is crucial, especially to someone who is battling clinical depression.
If we learn anything from Robin Williams’ passing, we should learn two things. One, don’t let your friends be alone. If someone is starting to act strange or show signs of isolation or depression, talk to them about it and try to get them to open up to you. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to notice and care to completely change a person’s outlook on life. Second, if you’re contemplating suicide, please get help and try to work it out before you do something that is permanent and is going to hurt a lot of people. Even if you think that you don’t have anyone around you that cares, you do. By taking yourself out of the world, we lose a piece of the puzzle that is the human existence, leaving a space completely vacant. The puzzle is now incomplete for some person out there in which you were supposed to be a piece.
In the words of Chance The Rapper: “everybody’s somebody’s everything.”