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Yesterday, the world said goodbye to Robin Williams. I wasn’t going to add to the chaotic rumble that is sweeping through social media, the news media, and various blogs following the news of his suicide. The mental health aspect of Mr. Williams’ departure hits far too close to home for me to comment further. I know he will be missed. He was a favorite in our house. In fact, my wife posted on Facebook yesterday that Robin Williams was by far her favorite actor. It’s so sad to see him gone.
Last night, we took some time to watch some clips from one of our favorite Robin Williams’ movies, Dead Poets Society. In this movie, Williams plays the part of prep school English teacher John Keating. He teaches his students to be true to themselves and to avoid the tendencies of conformity. There is much to ponder in re-watching these clips. And there is much to appreciate about the legacy left by Williams throughout his entire acting career. Movies like Dead Poets Society, Patch Adams, Awakenings, Mrs. Doubtfire, and so many others represent a career well spent. I’m sure Williams had a few duds, but we will remember the solid performances far more than the not-so-great performances.
There is one scene in Dead Poets Society that really hit me last night as we were watching the clips. Here it is:
The scene is a great challenge for all of us. Don’t waste your life. Don’t sit back and let it happen. Stand up and contribute. You have something worth adding to the play of life – a verse that needs to be heard. What is your verse? How will you contribute to this world?
This is something worth thinking about today.