Making Peace

This post is a week in the making and I wasn’t sure I was going to write it at all. Suicide, depression, and prejudice are deep topics much beyond the scope of the material I usually post on here. I’m not sure I’m well-versed enough. I can’t say that I lived through enough tragedy, fear, or prejudice to have a right to say what I am.

But I have lived and I have seen. And I am very sad for the state of this world. My best way of coping is to write.

I will never pretend to understand what went on inside Robin Williams’ head, just as I would never pretend to know how anyone was feeling or thinking unless they shared it with me.

There is undoubtedly a darkness and a lightness that lives within all of us. It cannot be defined and it is often never declared to anyone outside of that particular mind. Blessed as we are to live with conscious thought, the ability to read and write, and to communicate with others, there too are always consequences.

Robin Williams brought such joy to movie and television screens. He was someone who found what he loved and achieved such astounding success. We were lucky that he shared with his audience that lightness, humor, and grace that flowed through him, even as he battled demons that remain unseen to all of us.

That it ended how it did is tragic, as any loss of life is. It was not for a lack of love or support from what I have gleaned, though sometimes, I suppose it must be. I will choose to mostly remember him for how he lived, performing and making me laugh and cry, sometimes all at once, but I also will never forget how he died.

He was a man. A person who battled as much as he loved. We all are, whether we understand something or not.

Because we loved him. Because we celebrated him and all of his talent, the world got to share in the lightness that lived within Robin Williams. Now we cry at his pain and pray that he finally found peace.

Some people’s reactions have centered more around hate and judgment. This is something that we see now on the news and in our lives in every part of the world as hate announces itself. Yet, we see, perhaps not enough, that kindness, understanding, and love do exist, though those acts are often not broadcast on television as they are not gritty enough for ratings.

I have no answers as to how to solve the issues that run rampant, other than to try to love a little harder, accept that which you may not understand, and especially to love those who are not like yourself in any way shape or form because difference and similarities are what make us all important and special.

Someone once said that we must learn to tolerate differences. Another countered and said, we should go past that and accept. I am sure that many have also said that we should go beyond even acceptance, and I’d like to reiterate that ideal. We should learn how to celebrate a person for all that they are, not simply by categorizations of differences and similarities of which we are so prone to do.

Is it more comfortable to try and understand a person by defining them? Maybe. But this is a hazard that has plagued humankind for centuries.

I am not perfect, nor am I full of wisdom. I am however full of sorrow for all that I have seen these past couple of weeks and through all that I have heard in a lifetime. I am also terrified of that I have not seen or heard because there are dangers and hatred lurking even when I choose to ignore them in my cozy life.

I make judgments every day, against myself and against others. They are not overtly malicious, but it adds to the fuel that cause others to turn on each other. Whether it be a person who cut me off or another who steals my machine at the gym. I feel angst or resentment towards them and mark them as that. Sometimes I look at a person walking down the street and I don’t like the look on their face and a judgment is sparked.

Personally, I do not believe that anyone has been racist, sexist, or prejudiced towards me, but I have been judged, whether I know it or not. I see it happen to others, or I hear of it happening, and I am sorry that it happens so frequently and so consistently, even when we think we are so enlightened in this twenty-first century world.

I am sorry that we live in such a hate-filled world. Equality, as it is claimed so often, is supposed to be a right of simply being a human being. I don’t think anyone can pretend as though that is enforced.

Step by step, together, we must learn how to understand, or at least accept that we won’t always understand everything, and celebrate an individual for everything that they are and everything that they can bring to this world.

We, as a whole, are a long way away from this, but that doesn’t mean we give up and don’t try. I pledge to try and pay attention to the choices and the words I say every day. I’ll make mistakes, I’ll say something, I’ll judge someone, but I won’t give up trying to be better.

Maybe you don’t understand me. Maybe I don’t understand you. But we can no longer hate each other for it.

Haven’t we seen enough of the terrible consequences?