I do not always respond to tragedies in the world. When I do it is after taking time to think and reflect. I am saddened by the death of Robin Williams, but I am equally appalled by the online frenzy surrounding his death. It has passed the point of “grief” and “respect.” It has passed even the point of voyeurism.
While it it is appropriate to express sadness at the loss of a great talent, going to the level of grief and mourning we would experience at the loss of a close friend or loved one may not be. The intimate moments we share with actors on stage, screen and other media lead us to a false sense of intimacy believing we actually know them.
I encourage everyone to honor the memory of Robin Williams by taking time away from the news and the internet. Spend time connecting to those you may be neglecting to follow this story. Spend time with your children. Make sure they are doing okay with the media surrounding this event as well as in general. Take time to check on an elderly neighbor you might not have seen in a while. Offer support in whatever way is needed to a sick friend. Spend time talking with friend and coworkers about anything else. Make family dinners a ritual you guard carefully. Consciously reduce your online time and increase your real world time. Commit to live a life of love, joy and peace and to spreading positive energy to the world.
Negative energy is very enticing. It can be just a few steps down a very slippery slope to the despair and desperation Robin Williams may have given in to. This is a time to “guard your heart” and not let yourself be lead down a dark and dangerous path.