You will always be wrong, and that’s all right.
I’m sad that Robin Williams died from depression. That’s how he died you know, from depression. Depression manifests itself differently in each host human, much like cancer or any other disease. It’s a chronic, progressive condition. It can be treated, yes, but even when it’s well managed, it still manages to wreak havoc on the body and mind. Most diseases have their own symptoms and effects on the body as well as a somewhat predictable trajectory, but there are just so many variables, it’s hard to know exactly how things are going to play out. I guess that’s why doctors say they “practice” medicine, huh?
Over the past few days, you may have seen or read something about depression that rubbed you wrong or maybe it rubbed you right. You may have written or said something about depression death that rubbed someone else wrong, or maybe it rubbed people right. It’s a crapshoot really, because a human being takes in and processes information in a way that’s unique to it’s physical, mental and spiritual make up – environment strongly influencing all these things.
It’s so amazing if you think about it. Some might even say a miracle, evidence of God that all human beings are extraordinary in there own special way. I’m not one of the some that would say that. As an agnostic atheist, I doubt the existence of God, and when I entertain the possibility that God exists, I don’t see this God as a being that gives half a shit about human beings on a personal level.
Did what I just say rub you wrong? Did it rub you right?
If it rubbed you wrong, you have a few choices.
You can chow down on your self-created anger soup, fueling up for battle and maybe wage a crusade against me in an effort to help me see the wrong in my heathenly ways. Maybe it will be verbal, maybe in blog form or maybe it will just be fought inside your heart and mind, you, continuing to feast on rage, feeling sad for me and oh-so superior too. However it plays out, it’s a clash for sure, but it's a battle that's happening in your mind and heart, not in mine. It takes two to have a good fight and I’m not going to engage in a battle of opinions with anyone. My truth is just that - mine. I don't expect you to feel it, but I do expect you to understand that I do.
According to the Internet, there are many things that we shouldn’t say to people who have lost children, to people who are depressed, to people who have invisible illness, chronic pain, cancer, ugly birthmarks on their snouts that look like steaming turds come to life and many other maladies or conditions. According to the Internet, we should not only know not to say these things, even if we meant no harm, because most of the time we don't, but also feel guilt and remorse for being so inconsiderate and offensive.
There is a huge difference between a person saying or doing something in an effort to be cruel than there is when a person says or does something offensive as a result of ignorance, just as there is between a person who uses religion to comfort others and a person who uses religion to judge and wound.
People who are ignorant about the disease of depression might think suicide is a cowardly choice because they just don’t know better. People who label a dead child as an angel in an attempt to comfort a grieving parent are sharing their faith in an effort to comfort, not to offend. People who choose to wage war against well meaning people who happen to be ignorant about what is or is not the right damn thing to do or say in a difficult situation are really just fighting with their own demons by providing those demons with fuel to grow stronger, angrier and more entitled to a long, miserable life living on planet I'm Offended, a rapidly growing, yet already grossly overpopulated planet where the chronically discontent reside.
Oh yeah, I’m talking about Earth.
In my opinion, we should all try to make love, not war, to listen with intent to understand, that we might just appreciate the unique and different ways of feeling, thinking and responding to the millions of people, situations and ideas that life has to offer. The world is a really big place with so many people, situations and ideas. I’m suggesting we choose our battles more carefully.
I'm suggesting that we work harder at identifying the difference and making a greater effort to be a little nicer, both to ourselves and others.
I’m not saying this is easy, that it comes naturally, that we have to silently accept all the people, situations and ideas that we disagree with, but I am suggesting that we try harder to understand things on a broader scale, that we don’t take everything so goddamn fucking personally.
And so I say…
To the person who says or does anything that isn’t 140.54% right in response to something sad or personal to another person…
To the person who don’t realize that their well meaning and heartfelt gestures have the potential to wound, despite their loving purpose…
To the person who voices an opinion that isn’t popular, that speaks to their truth, even if it is grossly inaccurate and purposefully offensive…
You are everybody and everybody has been you at some time or another, so just try to be nicer to yourself and others.
Be proud of being you, what you believe and what you stand for, but not so proud of yourself that you forget that what others believe and stand for are important too.
Be open and willing to change and learn and grow, because even though life seems long, it’s really too short to spend it battling with people who, like you, are fighting their own battles that you know nothing about.
Understand and accept that your right is always going to be someone else’s wrong. Someone will always believe you are wrong. They may be wrong. They may be right. Try to be nice. I'm trying. I'm not always succeeding, but if nothing else, Robin Williams's death reminded me that even when things go wrong, there is always a way to make them right. We just have to keep trying. We won't be perfect. We will be wrong, say wrong, do wrong, feel wrong, and that's alright.
It’s all going to be all right, all right?