According to books like “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent” and “The Giver,” in the future, we will all be spared the pain of emotion. We will be told by our leaders what to do and what we must become. We will not be allowed an opinion or a belief of any kind. We will all wear grey and do as we are told. There is something very appealing about not needing to feel any joy or pain, and not having to make tough decisions.
For myself, I can see the appeal. I look really bad in a lot of colors, especially green. I really don’t like my teeth when I smile and I have a very ugly face when I cry. I have also been known to express an opinion or two that get me in trouble. I have a problem with over-sharing, and if I knew that I would be “released” for blogging about my boobs, I would probably not do that.
I have read all of the books in the above series and, as of today, have seen all of the movie adaptions. “The Giver” was always my favorite because I like the notion of one person’s ability to store all of the world’s memories and to protect us from the pain of terrible things like war and disease. No one in the world of the future knows what it is like to feel love, to laugh, or to cry. No one is popular and there is no deadly poverty or extreme wealth. We are all the same. The Giver is the only person who holds the ability to create happiness or sadness.
This week, the world lost one of most beloved “Givers,” Robin Williams. Growing up, I loved him for many reasons. I loved that he grew up in suburban Detroit, he seemed like a regular guy, he was extremely charitable, and that he could make me laugh hysterically (Mork) and could make me cry for hours (T.S. Garp is still my all-time favorite movie character.) (I would also like to point out that Pam Dawber, ie “Mindy” went to my high school which has nothing to do with Robin but yet made me feel more connected to him in a way that only makes sense to me.)
Robin Williams gave everything he had inside to the world. He was the ultimate giver. The problem, it appears, is that he had trouble ever giving any of this joy to himself. This is very common in entertainers, and it is common in writers. We expose ourselves to the world to make sure that people feel the things that we do, yet when we achieve what we want, we find ourselves completely empty. We want to hide from the world until we find that motivation again and create new experiences for people to enjoy.
If you haven’t read or seen the Giver, please be warned because I hate when people ruin things for me in advance (and I’m talking to you people on Facebook who watched “The Good Wife” last year.) But in the end of “The Giver”, everyone receives back the memories of the past. With that, they remember happiness, and they remember fear. They remember the beauty of birth and the sadness of death.
In my life, I seem to experience these highs and lows quite often. I hate feeling sadness, betrayal and anger as much as I enjoy feeling exhilaration, surprise and true friendship. This is life. There is no way to feel happiness and love without feeling hatred or disappointment. These emotions coexist whether we like it or not.
So thank you to Robin Williams, for giving so much of yourself to us. You made us feel a rainbow of emotions and we hope that, if there is an afterlife, you will finally be able to receive the happiness and joy that you gave us.
And thank you to all of my loyal followers and friends, who let me voice my opinion, share my embarrassing stories, and feel my silliness, confusion and frustration. It is a true gift to be acknowledged as a giver. I hope that even if you disagree with me or do not enjoy everything that I write, that you will still let me share & entertain for years to come.