It’s hard to believe that it has already been over a year and a half since actor and comedian Robin Williams decided to take his own life at the age of 63. Over the course of his acting career, Robin made us think as Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting, made us cry as Patch Adams in Patch Adams, and made us laugh as the Genie in Aladdin.
These were just three of Robin’s most iconic roles of the 100+ that he brought to life for us so perfectly. What many may not know, however, is that Robin was also an incredibly insightful individual; though he may have left this world physically, the indelible mark his spirit left on the world will not soon be forgotten, nor will his many powerful words of wisdom.
Here, in my opinion, are 15 of Robin Williams’ most powerful quotes that will make you think, laugh, and cry just like his acting performances do:
1. “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
We all have a zany side, which for most of us only makes an appearance in the comfort of our living room or shower when no one else is home. Rather than suppress that inner spark of madness, Robin reminds us to embrace it and let it always be at the core of everything that we do.
2. “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
We can often feel like a tiny fish in a massive sea, so it only makes sense to feel as though nothing we do could ever possibly have a global impact. As Robin reminds us, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Be and share the change you want to see in the world and you might just surprise yourself by how far it ripples out.
3. “Winning an Oscar is an honor, but, between you and me, it does not makes things easier.”
Life is always filled with challenges, even when we achieve what we previously set out as a goal. Keep challenging yourself to grow and do more knowing that, while there will always be challenges in your way, you will always be able to conquer them.
4. “Tweets? That stuff kills conversation. And people taking pictures with their phone or recording you, sometimes surreptitiously, is creepy. They come up and just start talking to you, and you can see the red light on their phone.”
This commentary on social media reminds us to live in the moment and not be so obsessed with the bells and whistles that technology continues to develop and wow us with. Take the time to interact with the people you love in person, and when out at incredible events don’t be afraid to put the phone down and actually experience them.
5. “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
We all know the infamous saying “choose your friends wisely,” and as cliché as it may be, it really is true. Let this quote remind you to surround yourself with the people in your life that lift you up and allow you to be who you truly are.
6. “I do believe in love; it’s wonderful – especially love (the) third time around, it’s even more precious; it’s kind of amazing.”
Robin makes us laugh through this social commentary on the state of marriage and divorce rates in the world. No matter what your life has and will continue to throw at you in the realm of relationships, keep your head up and enjoy the experience for what it is.
7. “Reality: What a concept!”
Robin makes us question our entire existence with this short but impactful quote. No matter your stance on the true nature of reality, let this quote remind you that life doesn’t need to be taken so seriously and to be sure to enjoy the ride on occasion.
8. “Politics is so personal, vicious and immediate, how are you going to get anything done? Even the local politics where I live have gotten so ugly.”
The state of the political system is certainly questionable in most parts of the world. Perhaps it’s time we re-evaluate our current systems and see whether or not they are capable of providing the change we require to survive and thrive.
9. “I’m sorry, if you were right, I’d agree with you.”
Robin comically reminds us to stand behind what we’ve come to know as true and not be so easily wavered by popular opinion. We all have our own internal guidance and insight which are more than capable of shaping an intelligent stance on any matter or issue.
10. “Sometimes over things that I did, movies that didn’t turn out very well – you go, ‘Why did you do that?’ But in the end, I can’t regret them because I met amazing people. There was always something that was worth it.”
Life can very easily be filled with regrets, but as Robin reminds us, there is a lesson and bright side to everything that we experience. Rather than carrying the weight of the past with you in the present, let it go and be grateful for the role it played in making you who you are right now.
11. “The essential truth is that sometimes you’re worried that they’ll find out it’s a fluke, that you don’t really have it. You’ve lost the muse or – the worst dread – you never had it at all. I went through all that madness early on.”
We all face doubt and self-consciousness where we let the opinions of others shape so much of how we feel. Remind yourself that you have already accomplished a lot in this life, and are always going to be capable of doing even more.
12. “Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting.”
Nothing better than a simple reminder to embrace and make the best of right now. We will never be as young as we are right now, so if not now, when?
13. “You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”
Another reminder that we all go through trials and tribulations in life. Even though they may seem overwhelming, they always have a purpose and the power to make us into even stronger individuals when we rise above them.
14. “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love: these are what we stay alive for.”
Academic pursuits will always play an integral role in keeping the world running, but we must not forget to embrace and enjoy the beauty that love has to offer. In the end, it is likely going to be the loving moments we shared that we will remember more than our academic accomplishments.
15. “See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.”
I wanted to end off on a comedic note since that only seemed fitting given the number of times that Robin made us laugh over the course of his life. The strand of truth that can be taken from this quote is how sexually obsessed we’ve become as a society, both men and women, and how we need to be sure to balance it out with intelligent decisions.
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