We lost Robin Williams on August 11, 2014. Looking back, that seems like an impossibly long time ago. A lot has changed in six years, and Mr. Williams would be surprised to hear everything that’s happening in today’s world. Robin Williams would have turned 69 today, July 21.
I noticed a number of changes after his death six years ago. First, and most obviously, it was hard to ignore how the world grew quiet for a few days. Everywhere I went, it seemed like people were talking about Robins, their favorite roles he played, and the shock that such a kind and happy man was so internally tortured.
Second, I noticed a lot more attention on mental health awareness.
It seems that losing Robin Williams helped people to understand the scope and seriousness of mental illness. If someone like Robin could hide his illness from the world, who else is? Our neighbors? Coworkers? Children? People began to understand depression outside of their usual expectations, and the change was certainly a positive one.
And so, on his 69th birthday, I believe that the best way to honor his memory is to address mental health awareness. We all need to take a moment to care for ourselves, our loved ones, and those around us. Here are a few quotes from Robin Williams himself about care:
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”Robin Williams
“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting.”Robin Williams in “Jack”
“Change is not popular; we are creatures of habit as human beings. “I want it to be the way it was.” But if you continue the way it was there will be no “is.”Robin Williams
And it’s a good idea to keep these numbers in your back pocket in case you or someone else needs them. Remember, you can also call and ask for advice on how to talk to a loved one, even if there isn’t an emergency.