What You Probably Never Knew About Robin Williams

Professor KeatingThe answer to this title… anything.

For the last few days I have read and heard pontifications surrounding the unfortunate death of Robin Williams. The fact is that a very minute number of those same people knew anything about him. Most of us only knew his persona. So for anyone to draw “certain” conclusions about his death and depression and their relation to each other and what should have been done to prevent this… is mere foolishness. It took me two days to cool down enough to write something about this. The arrogance and stupidity of comments I have read from people who profess to follow Jesus has been unnerving, to say the least.

You don’t know anything. I don’t know anything. Not about Robin or his struggles or his life or what caused him to take his life so, please stop.

When these types of events continue to come to the fore, what are some helpful responses? Seriously, what would Jesus do? A few suggestions:

  1. Resist the Rush Limbaugh, Al Sharpton, Ann Coulter, Jesse Jackson, Matt Walsh approach. If your response is inflammatory by nature, it is likely not of Christ or at very least not helpful to the current situation.
  2. Reflect on how your words may affect people who are already hurting in the same direction.
  3. Respond with Scripture… as a salve, not a sword.
  4. Remember your own fallenness and need for grace. Practice humility.
  5. Realize (and acknowledge out loud) that you may not know everything.

I know many of these suggestions overlap. I understand that not all of my readers will share my perspective. Can we all at least agree to say a prayer before we write or speak and allow our words to be directed by more than just our tongues?

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8 thoughts on “What You Probably Never Knew About Robin Williams

  1. Rob, just a little push-back here. I hadn’t heard that Rush Limbaugh had said anything, so your reference to his comments caused me to do some research. If you read articles about what Limbaugh supposedly said, I can see why you’d include him in the list of examples of what not to do. But if you read what he actually said, it’s clear that his beef was with the media’s reporting about the suicide. He didn’t have anything negative to say about Robin Williams. Here’s a link to what was said: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2014/08/12/robin_williams_and_the_pop_culture_media.

    1. Thanks Daviid! I wondered the same thing & you did the research for me. From the transcript of The Rush Limbaugh Show yesterday: ” I have always thought suicide was one of the most depressing tragedies and certainly not something that should be reported on in a way that might make others want to do it.” Not inflammatory at all; just his heartfelt opinions on suicide & the media coverage of it.

    2. Dave and Deirdre, my choice to include certain names in the list as I did was based mostly on their track record of having an inflammatory approach. I chose Rush specifically for this comment, “To kill yourself is one way to get the media to spend a lot of time talking about you, if you want to be talked about.”

  2. Dave and Deirdre, my choice to include certain names in the list as I did was based mostly on their track record of having an inflammatory approach. I chose Rush specifically for this comment, “To kill yourself is one way to get the media to spend a lot of time talking about you, if you want to be talked about.”

    1. I don’t think he was referring to Robin Williams in that comment, but potential copy cats, which is the problem he was pointing out w/the media coverage.

      1. Deirdre, you may be right. Either way, I don’t have trouble putting Rush Limbaugh in a list with other inflammatory people. That’s how he’s made a name for himself.

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