This post is brought to you by the letter K and the number 11.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” Plato
Nothing says kindness like the life of beloved actor, Robin Williams. This great man spent his life making other people feel good…not just on stage and screen…but in real life. After his death, stories from everywhere began to pour out about his many acts of kindness. Did you know that about him? I always saw it in his eyes, a deep compassion, born, I now surmise, of the deep pain of depression. He is a poster child for how people who are depressed often suffer in silence, pretending to be OK. The stories of his many kindnesses were not known because he didn’t want them to be known.
Writing on his website, Brian Lord tells the story of preparing to have Robin entertain somewhere and getting his requirements (called a “rider’ in the business.)
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that.
This one was about his unheralded trip to spend the day with a dying 13 year old girl.
Jessica was too frail to fly to California, where the actor was filming “House of D” at the time. So Robin Williams paid out of his own pocket to fly a private jet to her house. “It must have cost $30,000, $40,000,” says Cole. ‘He made her feel very special all day; it was just one on one.” says Cole. He did a lot of funny Mrs. Doubtfire scenes that she enjoyed. He was cracking my daughter Jessica up… he really wanted to spend time with Jessica.’ As the day wore on, the pair relaxed in easy chairs and watched Carolina Panthers games…“He was like that all day long… I couldn’t believe it. I felt very privileged that he came to spend the day with her like that. It was the most moving thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Here’s another one, sure to entertain. High school senior Skyler Gisondo, working with Robin and Ben Stiller filming Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, needed a date for his prom.
“All morning, Robin was pitching more ideas,” Gisondo told The Hollywood Reporter. “He was saying ‘Can I say this? Would it be appropriate to say this?’ You’re Robin Williams. You can say whatever you want! It turned into this three-minute, ridiculous thing. A prom-posal. “I realized that was the most awesome three minutes of my life and I’ve accepted it will go downhill from there,” Gisondo continued. Yes, he got the date.
Robin Williams was indeed fighting a hard personal battle, which, sadly, he lost. All of us who have ever been seriously depressed understood completely but mourned deeply and wished we could have been there for him as he was there for so many others.