Robin Williams: The Well of Kindness
If you are kind to yourself,
you will not go wrong.
Ann: Robin? How did you become kind?
Robin: Hello, Ann. Well, I guess I always felt too much, floods and tsunamis of impressions, emotions, excitement, inspiration, and despair all taking place at once. It took me a while to learn to sort them out.
Finally I just let go and went with the flow, but along the way I startled my fair share of acquaintances.
It got better in some respects when my mode of performing and communicating became a recognized commodity, but even then there were expectations that overlay any interaction. It was as if everyone saw me as a bird about to burst into song and waited for that moment. They seemed to love the song but the person underneath was invisible.
Everything I felt I had to put some place. I tried performing, drink, drugs, sex, all the usual tricks, but only one thing ever calmed my heart, and that was kindness. So that is where I learned to put my soul emphasis. Without it I would have perished in the flood of all that overstimulation.
I received kindness from some of the most unlikely sources, and so I understood the value of what I was given in an odd moment or an offhand comment and took these gifts into my heart. Every single such gift was a lifeline. That is the benefit of the kindness default mechanism. For how do we know what the other is going through? Kindness is the only sure thing.
Ann: How do we know if we are kind?
Robin: I can say only that if you are kind to yourself, you will not go wrong.
Each of us struggles in invisible ways. We bring to the table what we have been given and chart our own individual paths. For myself I tried to share the gifts that I had received. I called a halt when I saw the road ahead with no exit, no benefit, just a slow descent into madness with its attendant horrors for my family. Perhaps that was extreme and not relevant to most situations, but trust me, in time it is relearnt to each and every one of us in one fashion or another.
Each of us has the right to ask for kindness and respect and to first provide the same for ourselves, for we must fill our own well first. Then, and only then can we offer to others with true understanding that gift we have accepted in our innermost being.
August 28, 2021