As I'm watching "Dead Poets Society" for the hundredth time after the death of Robin Williams I remember the first time I saw it, aged 14, in a classroom as part of our discussions about suicide preventions. Robin Williams once said it was his favorite movie out of all of his. I certainly share his feelings. To me this movie is not his best but one of the best out there all together. Now that I'm older, and certainly wiser, I see its relevance much more than I already did when I was 14. Themes like pressure and desperation are present in my life and they evidently were in Robin Williams' life as well. Even a decade ago I understood why Neil committed suicide and I know now that Robin Williams did too. Based on these horrific news this week I feel compelled to share my views on what many people believe to be a last resort. I have no power to sway anyone's opinion on it but I want mine to be out there.
One of my biggest frustrations with religions always were buried convictions that have no grounds. For many years I thought committing suicide would get me a one way ticket to hell. Funnily enough it was Robin Williams movie "What Dreams May Come" that had me scared that I would not be admitted to heaven if I was ever to end my life myself. Robin Williams was a religious man himself and he still decided to end it. There will never be a cell in my body that is able to condemn his actions. I do, however, condemn those who accuse Williams of unforgivable sin. I didn't know him or his condition and I can only imagine to be in so much pain that every hope of it ever vanishing again has ceased to exist. Clearly suicide wasn't a likely decision to make. It is not our right to assess anyone's decision. I don't want anyone to give up ever but I'm not surprised they do. If there's a God I would like to believe He does too.
Seeing the scene in which Mr Keating is urging his students to "seize the day" makes me feel uncomfortable because I realize it's Keating's own advice that Williams couldn't take anymore. How many times have I been encouraged to be positive, seize the day or make my dreams come true and was unable to do all that. Only young boys like Neil Perry and Knox Overstreet would maybe get inspired by such words but someone affected by depression would be burdened by them more than anointed. I don't have to be depressed to know that the advice to seize the day is a popular, however, utterly unrealistic one. When someone is depressed such stereotypical blablas are pressuring. I feel a hundred times worse after I speak to people about my problems and they tell me to be positive. Obviously I have tried that. Carpe Diem is a farce!
Back in the day I was the only one in my class to defend Neil's choice to end his life. I don't condone suicide but I felt for the kid and saw why he felt he had no other choice. He knew how to make himself happy but knew he would never be given the chance to do it. He wasn't looking at a few weeks of misery but a lifetime of achieving his father's ambitions he wanted nothing to do with. On the night of his suicide he knew that the best was behind him and he would be looking at a life that was leading him downhill. Strangely, I can see Williams thinking similar sentiments on Sunday night. Someone said to me this week "I'm not scared of death, living is much scarier." I suppose not all of us are strong enough to do it. If only admitting weakness was accepted in our world at least we could try to be ourselves and possibly be helped.
I can relate to problems that don't seem to be resolvable anymore. The way I look at it is that nothing is permanent, the good and the bad, because I was on the very bottom before and managed to get right back to the top again. However, the last few months I have come dangerously close to the bottom again. I am not depressed, I do not have a condition and I'm certain because I know what they look like. Still, it is very tempting to give up when all that's thrown into your path is stones. It sounds so awful being the funny man to the entire world and just feeling lonely and dark inside. Surely, he could have gotten better and suicide is not a strong way to handle situations but I suppose that's part of depression, not being able to handle situations. I therefore hope he is forgiven if it's wrong what he did in a divine context but I mainly hope he finally found peace.