First of all, I have to say that I am still in deep mourning over the death of the wonderful, amazing, super-fantastic Robin Williams. The world truly lost a bright, shining light with his death. I still can’t believe he won’t be making any more movies. I must enjoy the ones he made all the more, then. Dead Poet’s Society has always been one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. I can’t watch it often, though, because it is so powerfully moving that I sob hard enough to cause a headache! Robin’s performance in that movie inspired me more than anything else as a teacher. Every single time I teach poetry, I want to tell my students to rip out the pages that tell them how to interpret/understand poetry and have them all stand on the desk saying, “O Captain, My Captain!” Of course I don’t do it because I want my teaching to be my own rather than a copy-cat, but I hope I still do SOMETHING to inspire them as to the power of the written word.
Robin’s quote here, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world” are words that I live by. I have always believed in the power of Words. I love to write. I love to read. It is so difficult for me to believe that there are truly people in the world in world who don’t love to read and/or write! (Of course, there are those who can’t believe that there are people like me who struggle to understand math!) But I have to say that I have never known math to change the world as Words do.
I have had my whole life change at various times throughout my life through words fitly spoken. I have realized how wrong I was about ideas or beliefs because of the words spoken to me–often when someone tells his/her own personal story. I have rediscovered joy in my life because of the power of Words. I started reading everything I could get my hands on about joy and through all those words, I am finding true joy again and climbing out of depression.
I can’t help but wonder what words must have been spoken to Robin Williams in his last days, hours, moments that lead to him choosing death over life. I don’t believe that anyone said anything to him on purpose to hurt him or make him do what he did, but I can’t help but believe that someone said something or he read something that sent him into a downward spiral worse than anything he’d ever experienced and he could no longer deal with the pain. The man who brought so much joy and laughter to our lives through his words may possibly have been brought to his lowest of lows with words. We may never know, but I can’t help but wonder.
A few short years ago, a student contacted me to tell me about a book she had read that she felt I would love to read, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The day she contacted me, I went to Barnes and Noble, bought the book, and finished reading it before going to bed for the night! What a powerful book that reminds us of the power of our words and actions. Hannah describes in her story 13 reasons why she has chosen to commit suicide. So much of what motivates her focuses on the words of the people around her. Jay Asher’s book is an incredibly powerful reminder of how our every word and action affects those around us. We may never know how they affect others, but the important thing to remember is that our words and actions should be uplifting as much as possible.
I have lived so much of my life in a deeply depressed state. I hated being there. I have no idea of the effect I had on others who were around me while I was in such a state of deep depression. What I do know now, though, is that I want to be a light in the lives of the people around me. I want to radiate joy and happiness. I want to be someone who speaks joy and life into the lives of those around me. I want to make a positive difference in the lives of those who come into contact with me.
In my writings, I desperately want to write something that changes someone’s life. I think that’s what drives me each and every day to write. We never know when or what we say will make a difference in the life of SOMEONE.