In recent weeks, the world has been in such a sad state of affairs. Every time you flip on the TV there are reports from Israel, Gaza, Syria about Hamas and ISIS. There are beheadings and mass killings. It is daunting, and after all the dismal conflict, a simple laugh feels really good.
Is it so wrong to escape from the worlds’ crisis for a few moments and switch the TV over to Netflix to watch “The Birdcage” or “Mrs. Doubtfire?” Is it so wrong to turn to someone who makes you laugh when you’re feeling down? Is it so wrong to mourn for someone you’ve never met before?
There seems to be some questions floating around in social media outlets that though the death of Robin Williams is tragic and sad, there are more important things in the world that are worthier of our attention. I beg to differ.
Robin Williams’ death is personal. It is personal because though most of us have never met him, he was our friend.
For me, the definition of a friend is someone who lifts you up when you need it. Or, a friend is someone who makes you feel so good about yourself that you want to do good things. The laughter that Robin Williams’ characters brought about did just that.
Through Williams, the world believed in the fantasy of Neverland, learned that family is so important that you’d even dress in drag for them, inspired thousands of people to quote Walt Whitman (Oh Captain, my captain!) and chant “carpe diem,” learn to spread your fingers apart to express “nanu nanu” at any given silly opportunity, and know that you get only three wishes.
The death of Robin Williams is indeed worthy of our attention, and it feels right to mourn together. As I’ve said for the many soldiers and victims over the last several weeks who have lost their lives in the middle East, today I say this prayer for Robin Williams…”Baruch Dayan Haemet” or “Blessed is the true judge.” May his name be a blessing. Amen.