Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams: Product Of The Overly Examined Life

     I did not know much about the personal life of the late comedian, Robin Williams. I did not think much of his comedy, and his acting was competent only when he worked with a director that could mitigate Mr. Williams' personality. I know, some readers may be saying that I should not talk ill of the dead. Well the intent of this post is not to speak ill of the deceased Mr. Williams, but to understand and define what lead to his desperate final act.
     Having not known Robin Williams personally, I can still draw some accurate conclusions about him, not from the way he lived, but from the way in which he died. I know, for example, that he was not only a self-absorbed individual, as most addicts are, but an ungrateful one as well. Anyone who would allow depression to guide them into suicide can not be thankful or grateful for the good things in one's life. And from all appearances, Mr. Williams had much to be grateful for, a loving family, a successful career, and the ardor of millions of fans.
     I think those who have lionized him after his death from extreme selfishness have made the mistake of confusing celebrity with importance. They have confused the commodity of comedy with a substantive contribution to mankind. They have confused a pampered self-centered star with a person of substance and rectitude. While thousands of Christians throughout the world are having the Islamist's sword put to their throats for refusing to abandon their faith, Robin Williams voluntarily put a rope around his because he had no faith.
     He had no faith in his family to occupy a more important place in his life than his addictions. He had no faith in God who blessed his life in so many ways, all of which Mr. Williams threw back at Him with his final act. He had no faith in himself to be stronger than any demons that may have haunted him. Worst of all, Mr. Williams had no faith in life itself to meander into happiness and to take up residence in contentment for those who seek it.
     The lesson to be gleaned from the selfish death of Robin Williams is that life must always be lived outside the individual. Those who intensely focus on self to the exclusion of gratefulness and thanksgiving will invariably be left alone with the demons that reside in all of us. And those demons feed on selfish thoughts and acts, like depression and drug addiction. The affliction of inward thinking can lead one to feel very alone in the world. Socrates stated that, "The unexamined life is not worth living." But the overly-examined life leaves no room for living. And the overly-examined life feeds the demons of addiction and depression that grow in the garden of discontent. Robin Williams, unfortunately for his family and friends, was a product of the overly-examined life.

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