This blog won’t shower me with glory. It’s one of those messages that has the potential to make folks feel uncomfortable…heck, I’m writing it and it’s making me uncomfortable.
This won’t go in the direction you assume early on…and, it’s terribly judgmental…but, here goes…
The loss of Robin Williams is a blow to fun, laughter and joy around the world. Even folks who don’t speak English loved him. Simply watching him with the sound turned down could make you smile. So, yes, his death is a loss.
However, there are folks bemoaning his loss who wouldn’t walk across the street to check on members of their own family. If one of their neighbors was sick they wouldn’t take a moment to check on the person or stop by with a dish of something (a Southern tradition).
Why? Because it’s easier to feign concern and emotion about someone at a distance, a “celebrity,” than it is to connect with someone close to you; someone in whom you really need to invest some time and emotion, someone who really matters.
Again, why? Because Kim Damn Kardashian won’t come to your house and want you to listen to her complain for an hour about her feet/kids/money/car/boss/preacher. She won’t ask you to invest time and emotion in a real relationship, something that matters.
Let’s be honest. I’m sure there are a fair number of people who saw Robin Williams perform live but for most of us he was a digital image on a screen. He wasn’t someone you could reach out and touch; someone in whose life you could matter.
Robin Williams had the extraordinary ability to connect with people, even through the screen. So, if you really want to honor him…really…think of someone you know, maybe someone you love but haven’t had some contact with them in awhile…and call them…don’t email or text them, those technologies allow you to remain at a distance…call them, or better yet, go see them. Get together for lunch. Ask them, “How ya doin’?”
And really listen.