Life: An Inside Job

On the morning of August 11, 2014, the world lost one of the most iconic, talented and multi-faceted actors it has ever seen. Robin Williams brought an immense amount of laughter and light into our lives, so one may question how he failed to brighten his own world. As a society, we often view celebrities as people that we "know" based on the interviews and movies we have seen. It's easy to assume that because someone is happy and funny on television, they are always this way in their daily lives. For those of you who think that money and fame will solve your problems, think again. First, you must look inside yourself and create a richness, not in dollar signs, but in life and love. Chase your dreams as far as they take you. If your dream is to be the next Robin Williams, then chase it. But don't expect your life to be perfect, just because you possess all the tangible items you could dream of. Life's an "Inside Job" that begins and ends with our innermost thoughts and emotions. My generation is bombarded with sound bites and media that often causes us to lose perception of the reality of life in Hollywood.

Robin Williams is another name on a long list of loved celebrities who have taken their lives by choice. Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe and Lee Thompson Young are just a few. The next time you see someone and think to yourself, "They are so lucky. Their life is perfect." Stop and consider all the positive aspects of your life and be grateful for what you have. There is a lot of tragedy in this world, but there is also a lot of happiness that can be found in the most unsuspecting places. By viewing fame and fortune as a highway to happiness, you are missing the concept of happiness entirely. In order to be happy, one must learn to appreciate what they already have. The grass is not always greener on the other side, as it may appear to be.

I feel sorrow for Robin Williams' wife and children, who are facing the tragedy of his untimely death. I, myself, cannot believe the news is true. However, I am very grateful for the laughter and inspiration that Williams has given me over the years. From the first time I saw him on screen in Jumanji until most recently in Night at the Museum, he has provided me with smiles, laughter, and a happy, temporary, escape from reality. I wonder if he truly realized the positive effect he had on others' lives, even those he never met.

Take this tragedy, and use it as your reminder to always consider the fact that others may be going through a rough time. Go out of your way to open doors, smile at strangers, and recognize that your simple gestures may save a life. It's sad that after someone dies, we all express our love and gratitude for that person, and yet while they are alive, we assume they know they are appreciated, loved, and worthy. It does not matter how wealthy someone is, it does not matter how well-known someone is, it does not matter how comical someone is or how they're continuously smiling. Unhappiness can haunt anybody. That is why it is significant to hug your neighbor and be kind to those around you. You never know who could be on the edge of breaking.

The future is unknown, yet the present is clear: Robin Williams' shoes will be some tough ones to fill. The world won't be the same without him. In light of this disaster I beg all of you to seek the necessary help for any psychological illness you might have. It is not anything to be ashamed of. You deserve to live your life without negative gnawings that can consume you.

"To die would be a great adventure" - Robin Williams in Hook
Rest in Peace, Robin... Your star will always shine.