Robin Williams: Tear Out The Page – What Will Your Verse Be?
Oh me! Oh life! Of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities filled with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! So sad, recurring – What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here – that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
Robin Williams (or you may know him as: the Genie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Teddy Roosevelt, Mork, Jack Dundee, John Keating, Alan Parish, etc.) passed away earlier this week. As a millennial born in the 80’s, I grew up watching Mork and Mindy (I dream every once in a while of sipping my orange juice through my finger) and still know about 90% of the songs from Aladdin (please don’t tell anyone about that, though). It’s an understatement to say that he was a large part of my childhood.
But as I grew older, he also became a large part of my adult personality. This seems appropriate as Williams was constantly reinventing himself, a task that all successful entrepreneurs must undertake. As I grew older, I learned about being true to myself from Armand Goldman and The Bird Cage. Patch Adams gave me insight into the healing power of laughter. Jack taught me to value every second of life. I even picked up a few moves from Ramon and Happy Feet.
Through his performances, he taught me lessons and gave me inspiration on how to live my life. One of the greatest lessons came from this scene in Dead Poet’s Society. It’s about 5 minutes, but it’s totally worth watching. I’ll explain why below.
Tear out the page – what will your verse be?
I think this scene rings especially true for entrepreneurs. We are forced to tear out the page. We cannot define what we do by anyone’s pre-constructed scales. And, like many of the characters in the scene, it can be something that scares you. It’s not easy to go against society’s norms and the people who are telling you that you’re crazy – those who are sure of your failure before you even begin. But ask yourself why you’re scared and you will find that the reason often comes from the great business trap – because that’s the way it’s always been done. When you realize that that’s the reason, it’s not so scary to rip out the page and start something new. And then, once you’ve found the courage to chase your dreams and rip out the page, you’re left with only one question: what will your verse be?
Thank you, Robin, and rest in peace.
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