Yes, suicide changes the lives of those left behind irrevocably. When my friend passed away, it shook my foundation and was the catalyst that eventually led to some monumental, positive changes. It forced me to reevaluate what was important in life, and this time with Robin Williams is no different. We are living in a time where technology and the Internet display the best and the worst of humanity. Some have lashed out with cruel and callous words. Have we become so hardened that we can't sympathize with another's pain, or at the very least be respectful of their grieving family? I mean, fuck! I am not immune to the cynicism and misery and snark that seem to have become the norm these days, but at this point it feels like a monster that is out of our control.
Except...it's not. It is completely within our control. Talk about choice! We have just as much choice to let the person get on the train before us as we do to push them back. I'm not talking about walking around in Pollyanna land and being a doormat, but is it so fucking hard to just be nicer to people? I am angry. And I am tired of people being ugly to each other. Rather than condemning, suicide makes me think about how everyone is going through something and could use a little human kindness. A phone call instead of a text. A hug instead of an emoji. As the technology and energy get more and more intense, I find myself yearning for more connection to the earth and to other people. Maybe a kind word, gesture, or invitation won't be enough to stop someone from killing himself, but what could it hurt? Why NOT try a little compassion? People will always be in your way on the sidewalk. They will always inconvenience you. You cannot teach the human race a lesson by showing one person what a dick they're being. And being a dick back will help no one, least of all yourself. Being rude is an everyday occurrence, but someone might just remember you being nice, and they might just pay it forward.
For myself, all I can manage is my own expectations and reactions. Yes, I will get angry, annoyed and inconvenienced. But I can CHOOSE to take a step back, see the bigger picture, and get better at picking my battles. Life is too short to look back and see where I could have lent a helping hand but didn't. Where I was nasty to someone and regretted it five minutes later. The only way to change the world is to start with yourself.
So fuck it. I'm going to make an effort to be more compassionate and to operate from a place of love. Otherwise, what is the fucking point?