|Image from IMDB.com|
Whether consciously or subconsciously I tend to admire certain people for their different attributes and sometimes, just sometimes, I attempt to emulate them. To be successful, surround yourself by successful people...some say. If you want to become like a certain role model, find out what they do and copy it to the best of your ability...others will tell you.
People have used this tactic to emulate Warren Buffet, Michael Jordan and so on. Books have been written on the subject as imitation continues to be the largest form of flattery...or so I'm told.
I have purposely selected a few people to emulate in my attempt to become (what I hope is) a better father, spouse and businessman. I admire the tactics of General Patton and keep a copy of his Minute Meeting notes for quick review. I'm a big fan of John Wayne and, as silly as it may sound, consider his character similar to the actual nature of my own father. Of course there are flaws, whether we choose to see them or not.
That is why I think it is so devastating when we find out that our "role models" commit haneous acts. For example, I was really disappointed the day I found out that Arnold cheated on his wife and had a child outside of his marriage. Should I have been surprised? In retrospect, probably not...but I was. He was the icon of the perfect male physique in my childhood and rose to a substantial perch of success, given that he was from a small town in Austria, didn't speak English and was poor.
So, too, was my initial disappointment when I heard about Robin Williams' suicide. I grew up watching Mork and Mindy and have enjoyed Robin's natural abilities for comedy for decades. Somewhat spastic in appearance, I felt he had a tremendous gift that was hard for even him to control. But he was brilliant and it was always a pleasure to watch him perform.
It was a great relief for me today to read the court documents of the last days of Robin Williams. It was a relief because the story was finally being told as to what happened and why. It was closure. He didn't take his life for a superficial, selfish reason or due to drug and alcohol abuse. He actually suffered from a terrible disease (actually more than one) that led to horrible dementia and paranoia.
I won't rehash the whole story but you can read about it here. Along with Parkinson's Disease (acquired officially in 2011), he also suffered from something called Lewy Bodies. As if that wasn't taxing enough, he was also saddled with anxiety, depression and paranoia. In the end, he was found hanging from his belt in him California home. A bottle of Seroquel (a drug that treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and depression), prescribed one week earlier, found near his body. He was indeed sober as "Toxicology reports found two anti-depressants and two caffeine compounds and there was no alcohol in his system."
I will miss the brilliance of Robin Williams but his movies will live on and provide decades of entertainment. I pray that his family finds serenity and can gently move on with their lives and know that their loved one touched the lives of millions.
He has SIX movies coming out this year and I look forward to watching him display his gift in each one. Following that, I will make it a point to seek out the films he performing in that I haven't seen.