By L&T Publisher Earl Watt
How can a man that provides so much happiness suffer from depression?
The 24-hour news networks couldn’t cover the death of Robin Williams enough, and I am sure the coverage will continue until the ratings tell the networks to focus on something else.
Shock, dismay, disillusionment, sadness. America lost one of its originals Monday, and so far, it appears that Williams committed suicide.
This is always a touchy subject, especially in academic circles and the entertainment industry.
When an academic commits suicide, we are not supposed to mention it. The rest of us are not educated enough to even try to understand the intellectual aspects of such a complicated set of circumstances that would lead a great mind to such an end.
Celebrity suicides come in two forms — those under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and the rest.
I will never understand why a person would want to take their own life. No matter how hard life may get, I just do not see that as a viable option.
We have seen teenagers who have been embarrassed by a Facebook posting commit suicide. When the Stock Market crashed to start the Great Depression, several who lost a fortune committed suicide.
There are no answers to it, and I am certainly not qualified to provide any here.
We all enjoyed the characters that Robin Williams shared with us, from an alien learning what it means to be human to a military disc jockey in Vietnam.
Williams was very good at his chosen profession — acting.
Many are confusing Williams with the roles he played. He wasn’t an English professor, although he played one, and he wasn’t a counselor, although he played one.
He was an actor and comedian and highly gifted at both.
Only those nearest to him actually knew him.
I wasn’t aware of his struggles with alcohol and drugs, although it came as no surprise when that revelation was made.
How can someone who has so much, who brought happiness to so many suffer internally so terribly?
Perhaps it is because we have a warped sense of what happiness truly means.
For those on the world’s largest stage, it would appear that all has been achieved, and yet the sadness comes.
There was a void, and it didn’t appear to be the lack of support or finances. Williams had plenty of both.
At 63, Williams had accomplished great things, and yet to himself, it seemed as nothing.
The lure of Hollywood and its culture tells us that sex, drugs and rock and roll is what life is about. Live big, spend a lot, and push to save the whales every now and then.
Something was missing, and Williams knew it, and it had nothing to do with wealth and fame, because he had all of it he wanted.
It had to do with emptiness of the soul. That is the one thing Hollywood has to bury deep in order to focus on the lifestyle it exonerates as the goal.
Williams had a soul, and he could not justify the conflict between his conscience and his profession. In the end, he made a bad choice.
Hollywood can provide temporary avenues off the drugs and alcohol, but it cannot restore your soul.
There isn’t anyone on Earth who can.
That’s why we cannot rely on a physical solution to a spiritual crisis.
Hollywood, for all the magic it shares, rejects the spiritual component of humanity.
And the best of Hollywood suffer because of it. They turn to drugs and alcohol to try to escape, to fill the void, but in the end, overdose, accidents and suicide claim them at a high rate.
The solution to the void isn’t in a pill, it’s in prayer.