Robin Williams: A Terribly Real Thing in a Terribly False World


robin-williams“You,” he said, “are a terribly real thing in a terribly false world, and that, I believe, is why you are in so much pain.”

That quote belongs in Emilie Autumn’s psychological thriller novel, “The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.”

It’s the essence, I think, of Robin Williams. He was so real—so passionate, brilliant, empathetic, brave, and sensitive—letting us see the exquisite beauty that is a byproduct of living with your heart exposed to the world.

That kind of behavior is so rare and so risky.

Because it is so hard to be real today.

In 1959, when Victor Frankl published his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” he discussed the research of his one his colleagues, Edith Weisskopf-Joelson, professor of psychology at the University of Georgia. She wrote:

Our current mental-hygiene philosophy stresses the idea that people ought to be happy, that unhappiness is a symptom of maladjustment. Such a value system might be responsible for the fact that the burden of unavoidable unhappiness is increased by unhappiness about being unhappy.

She believed that Victor Frankl’s logotherapy—a mental health strategy based on finding one’s life meaning—“may help counteract certain unhealthy trends in the present-day culture of the United States, where the incurable sufferer is given very little opportunity to be proud of his suffering and to consider it ennobling rather than degrading.”

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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10 Responses
  1. Therese
    This Is one the best things I’ve ever read. Vulnerability and openness, willingness to put the struggle out there is endearing to me. This is a darn good reason why you’re one of the resources that I put on my blog of who people should read.
    I hope someday I communicate as well as this

  2. New Liz

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, you are my hero. You are truly a master at it. I can’t quite define the IT, but I feel it inside and it makes me feel better. Thank you.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Ammah

    Another great post. I just sent for Viktor-Frankl book.
    Truth has been robed with lies. Mr Williams divores though quite some time back left him quite shaken.
    Buddah as I recall estranged his wife and son to find his inlightment…. Was he suffering from depression

  4. Kiel

    Beautiful piece, and it’s my first encounter with your writing so I’m interested to see more.
    I have to say also – when I click “Continue reading…” and it takes me to the Everyday Health site, its font and layout are a lot harsher on the eyes. Your site for some reason is much more readable and friendly – good spacing, balanced, harmonious – so I thought this might be useful feedback too!