“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams
As an avid quote collector, I have a couple apps on my phone to help feed my addiction daily. This quote, from the late Robin Williams, greeted me this morning.
There is a surprising list of authors who did not find much recognition when they were living. It was not until their stones of death were tossed into eternity that their influence rippled throughout the world. Plato, Anne Frank, Franz Kafka, Emily Dickinson all fall into this category of writers. Death has a way of shocking the living and creaking eyelids open just a little wider.
Of course, as we all know, Robin Williams found fame in life. Patch Adams, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, even Flubber pop into my head as staples of my childhood. For one of his most notable roles, Genie, in the Disney movie, Aladdin, his face wasn’t even in the film. Just knowing most of that role was improvisation offers a glimpse into Williams’ genius.
He found fame for his unearthly quick improvisational abilities, creativity, humor, personality, and versatility. But when he died unexpectedly from apparent suicide on August 11, 2014, it rippled a different legacy; one which is deeper and more profound than any of the roles he had played. Williams wrestled with severe depression. A man who found so much success and provided so much joy still hurt immensely in the dark. His death shocked the world into a conversation about mental illness. And in that way, his horrific and unfortunate death breathed life. Hurting men and women raised their voices in the wake of the agonizing tragedy. When his candle went out, others lit their wicks, honoring his memory by fighting against the darkness that consumed him.
Robin Williams warned us before his passing that you must not lose the little bit of spark you are given. This quote has greater weight to it after his untimely death. We only have a little spark of genius. Each one of us is unique with special talents, abilities, personalities. Too often we undermine and undervalue ourselves. We hide in the dark because we think maybe we are crazy, mad, insane. But it’s that craziness, that spark of madness, that genius mixed with every other ability and talent we have that makes us unique. It makes us, us; me, me; and you, you. You only have a little spark and you mustn’t waste it hiding it in the dark. Don’t rob the world of the light you bring to it. We need your genius as we still mourn the passing of the great Robin Williams, a bright shining light stifled too soon.
What are you favorite Robin Williams quotes or moments? Tweet me @DaddingDepressd or comment below!