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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Greatest Legacy

Quote of the Day:

One of my favorite actors, Robin Williams, has passed away at the age of 63. The news was particularly sad for me, as Williams died of an apparent suicide. 

I will always remember Williams in one of my favourite movies of all time - "Dead Poets' Society" where William plays the role of an inspirational teacher. I will always remember the scene when he stands on the desk and challenges his students to call him "O Captain, my Captain". This was a call for his students to stand up against the conformity of the world and to choose to lead their own lives as thinking individuals.

Then there was the epic movie "Good Will Hunting". I remember the movie most pointedly during the time I was studying for my course on Counselling Psychology. The protagonist Will Hunting was being sent to various counsellors because of his behavioural problems. And all of these sessions failed because the counsellors refused to listen to Will; each of them instead prescribing their own theoretical methods. In the film, Williams acted as a counsellor with a different approach. There was a very powerful scene during which Williams' counsellor character repeated the words "It's not your fault" several times, leading to an emotional awakening by Will. The personal empathy demonstrated by Williams' character led to Will finally coming to terms with his troubled past. 

Then there was the movie "Patch Adams", where Williams acted as a doctor whose perspective of life was to be happy so that his patients could be happy.

The list goes on.

As I remember the man whose movies shaped the perspectives of many people around the world, I cannot help but feel sad that he struggled with alcohol, drugs and severe depression during the final years of his life. I will never understand the pain that Williams must have dealt with towards the end of his life; however I cannot help but think of one other great man, the apostle Paul, who proclaimed towards the end of his life that he had "fought the good fight", "finished the race", and "kept the faith". At the end of my life that's something I aspire towards - that my legacy for my children will be one of character and faith.

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