Robin Williams could always inspire laughter — that was his gift, and perhaps his curse. But when the laughs quieted, he could (and often did) offer words of such depth that we couldn’t help but give our hearts away before he stole them.
1. “They don’t know about real loss because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself.”
Performance: Good Will Hunting
About: This entire speech could be played over and over again as an example of Williams’ most touching work. The vulnerability is heart-warming — and heart-wrenching at the same time.
2. “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Performance: Dead Poets Society
About: This is the kind of pep talk most of us should get before every school assignment and every workday, reminding us why we’re alive.
3. “Death is not the enemy, gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all — indifference.”
Performance: Patch Adams
About: That office hack or in-house politician who always seems to be standing in your way, claiming “We’ve always done it this way”? This one is for them.
4. “To live will be an awfully big adventure.”
About: Williams’ Peter Pan is the spark we hope we can protect after demands from jobs, family and home – that remnant not only of youth, but of life and adventure.
5. “You’re only given a little spark of madness. If you lose that, you’re nothing.”
Performance: Stand-up routine, 1977
About: One of his most-quoted lines is often a little misquoted, but the sentiment remains the same, particularly in light of his death. “Remember, angels have wings because they take themselves lightly.”
If you find yourself in darkness, there are people out there with lights. Start with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.