This August marks the sixth anniversary of the unexpected and sad death of the unforgettable Robin Williams; the saddest smile in Hollywood. It may seem frivolous to feel pain or pity for a human being we don’t know in person, and whom we’ve only seen playing roles. But the truth is that people really felt his loss; and those who really admired him, every August remember him with nostalgia.
When the news of his death broke in August 2014, social networks were filled with emotional messages to the actor along with some of his best lines and photographs from his best movies. Let us remember the best that the actor left us with his work and honour his philosophy of life, which had a sad ending, but no less full of valuable messages to all of us.
During all his films and interviews, the actor left us true pearls of wisdom. Although in the end, he didn’t know how to apply them to his own life, he wanted to leave them as a legacy so that someone with more strength than him could put it into practice.
Smile, be nice and try to make everyone who loves you happy
The first lesson he left us is precisely the one he tried to apply throughout his life, although ultimately without success: “I am the madman who believes that laughter cures everything”. Everyone who knew him could enjoy his eternal smile and the irony with which he faced life, however dark or cruel it might be.
Robin Williams never let himself be influenced by bad tongues, or at least that is what he led us to believe. He tried to fill the lives of those who accompanied him with smiles and good memories: “Possessing all these virtues will lead you to a much happier life. Giving and receiving, will make you sensitive to people, will bring you closer to your emotions and you will see the world from another perspective” – Mrs Doubtfire (1993).
Be true to yourself
Another great quote of his that many people still use as a mantra is this: “It only gives you a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” A quote of his own that makes us see how important it is to embrace our own madness and our own way of being.
This phrase is a clear statement of intent about what living meant to the actor, a person who in spite of being clear about all his imperfections never allowed that to make him lose hope, nor the joy of living: “Hunger for hope may be worse than the hunger for food”- Jakob the liar (1999).
Williams knew it well that the only thing that really matters in life is to be unique, to know oneself to be imperfect, broken and weak, and yet to want to be that way and don’t get despaired. This was another great teaching that the comedian gave us all: to be faithful to ourselves and never lose faith.
Success is not everything
Robin Williams was an exceptional person and totally different from what people used to see among the stars of Hollywood. It was something that undoubtedly won him the affection of millions of people who were tired of the coldness and distance of the great stars of the cinema.
One of his best phrases about the success he said shortly after winning his first and only Oscar for the best supporting actor: “Winning an Oscar is an honour. But, between you and me, it does not make things easier”.
With this phrase, Robin Williams made it clear to the world that success does not make life easier. Everything is still as cruel, unfair and at the same time beautiful as before. His goal was never to have a showcase full of trophies to brag about to visitors but to have someone to share that happiness.
Focus on the good side of things
It may seem redundant to go back to talking about how important it was for the actor to always look on the bright side of things. However, talking about his legacy means talking about the joy of living and how important it is to accept yourself even when you don’t deserve it.
“If you are ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky, when the stars are strung across the velvety night, and when the shooting star streaks through the blackness turning night into day…
Make a wish…
Think of me…
Make your life Spectacular” – Jack (1996).
“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us has very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting” – Jack (1996).
No doubt Williams knew what he was talking about because there is nothing that weighs more heavily in a person’s life than guilt. That’s why he focused so much on educating his children and advising all his loved ones on the same thing: “Carpe Diem. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” – Dead Poets Society (1989).
The actor taught us that the most important thing is to be at peace with ourselves, to enjoy a few laughs as a family on a typical summer afternoon and to sleep peacefully at night. That is all that will prevail.
Love is the most important thing
One of his last and perhaps the saddest sentences of all is this: “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
Robin knew that recognition, fame, awards don’t bring any value if you felt totally alone when you got home. Neither any applause nor a chronicle from a famous magazine can fill the emptiness of the heart.
Robin Williams was the madman who believed that laughter could fix everything. And maybe it will, even though he is no longer here to check. His career was a great adventure that the whole world could enjoy. Everyone but him.