This week we lost one of Hollywood’s greats, an incredible human being, and a man who did so much for the charities and organizations he championed. To watch him playfully make a child with cancer smile in one of his many St. Jude commercials is only a small testament to the incredible giving spirit he was.
But with all the happiness he gave others through his comedy, acting roles, and philanthropy, he couldn’t find permanent happiness himself. And while many of us will never understand the kind of depression that can drive a person to end their life, I feel compelled to share that I have had my experiences with depression and I know how completely consuming it can be.
Luckily I don’t have severe on-going depression where I have to take medication to control it. But the potential for it to rear its ugly head is always there…looming to swoop in and take over like a dark swirling vulture.
As with most important issues in my life, I’m sharing this here because I think there’s a terrible stigma put on depression that has caused people who have it to feel like lepers. Unfortunately when the world cannot understand something, the common practice is to shove it under the rug. So it’s my hope that in some small way by sharing this here, maybe others will feel less ashamed and hopefully reach out for help if they need it.
There’s no doubt in my mind that doing good for others, whether through comedy, charity, or even simply being the kind person he was, was a way Robin Williams combated his demons. I’ve said it before and will say it again, one of the best ways to feel happier – to live a happier life – is to do kind things for others. I know this from my own experiences and it really is true!
Through this week’s 52 weeks of happy feature, my hope is for anyone reading this to do just that for everyone around them. None of us really knows if a person might be suffering. So it’s good to take a moment before judging, or acting unkindly or petty towards others, and just think about that. As I wrote in this post, we need to remember that what we do and say, and sometimes what we don’t, can really affect the people around us.
It is my belief that in order to have a happy life, we need to try to make what we do and say as thoughtful as possible. and to pay attention to not just those you love, but your community and your world. We need to purposefully act to make all of it a better place. Even the smallest gesture of love and kindness can do more than you know.
In a statement released a few days ago, Robin Williams’ wife said, “It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”
Amen to that! And here’s to being there for anyone in your community who may be facing something similar. If you see someone in your world is having a tough time, go out of your way to find out what you can do for them. Sometimes all a person needs is someone to talk to.
An anonymous quote I saw on Pinterest yesterday caught my attention. It simply said,
“When someone is going through a storm your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.”
That pretty much sums it up beautifully.
Thanks for stopping by!