Dear Robin Williams,
I have never met you so whatever I think of you is just an illusion. But it doesn’t matter.
People are afraid of living. We are afraid that if we take a risk, we may die. Ironically, we are afraid of death because we don’t live life to the fullest.
I was always a dreamer and most societies don’t like dreamers. I’m an adult now and I am STILL a dreamer. The only difference is that I no longer ‘hate’ people who discourage dreamers because everybody cannot (or does not want to) dream and I totally respect and understand that. I am skeptical of the magical ‘positive thinking.’ But at the same time, I’m not a cynic. The truth is somewhere in the between.
Society teaches us that there are two ways of dealing with fear: either you give in or you think ‘positive.’ You showed that there is a third way of dealing with fear: you can actually laugh at it or just play with it. Maybe, that’s why you don’t fit into the stereotype of a ‘hero.’ Heroes don’t laugh. Because if they do, people won’t find them ‘courageous’ enough and who would risk losing the ‘I’m braver than you because I overcame more problems than you’ contest?
Whenever I got a lecture about “practicality” from people around me, I watched Dead Poets Society. It gave me the courage to dream again. “Carpe Diem” is a little corny but you made it all believable.
I always believed that it is *we* who bring love to any activity. No activity is inherently boring or interesting. When I was stuck in a place where people just believed in complaining about the ‘system’, I watched ‘Good Morning Vietnam’. The passion that your character brought to the job was contagious. The medical profession is full of negativity as you have to hear about people’s painful problems all the time. But you taught us that death or sickness are not taboo subjects. Many memorable characters of yours had the same quality: they were about doing ordinary things with extraordinary amount of love.
There are times when I want to prove certain people wrong. But your movies taught me that life is much more than bullet points summarizing your achievements. It’s poetry. Like Alan Watts said, the point of music is not to “get to the end of the composition”, the point of music is just to play!
You didn’t have to play a therapist. Watching you on screen IS therapy.