Thank You, from a Stranger

In social media, it is common place to gripe, complain, or get offended over anything. The amount of negativity found online has become a cyber tsunami looking to wipe out any ounce of kindness and happiness that we possess.

Kindness found in our own private microcosms has been passed over with the mentality of “Well, you’re my Mom. You’re SUPPOSED to say nice things.” Our personal friends are SUPPOSED to be supportive and nice to us. That’s why they are your friends! But all too often, we don’t show the appreciation for that small, but meaningful, gesture.

This blog, although seeming to do that EXACT thing, is not about close friends and family. It is about the kindness of a stranger and thanking them!

If someone you didn’t know messaged you on Facebook asking to watch a video and give a critique on it, would you do it? I know most of us would respond with “Do I know you?”

With that being said, (and not taking away from those in my private life who DO support me and my endeavors) I would like to take a moment to thank three people who not only responded, but were already leading (by normal standards) double and triple lives who STILL took time out of their schedules to help me, despite not knowing who I was at the time.

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Why Are You Defending the Guilty?

Yet another LOL & SMH moment comes when somebody is CLEARLY in the wrong, they are called on it and the public doesn’t rally around the “whistleblower” in support of a “we all need to do the right thing” mantra. Instead, they rally around the person who was CLEARLY in the wrong.  As if to say “HELL YEAH! We liked that they were working counterproductively to the situation and screw you for ruining that for everybody!”

Or it could sound like this:

“‘Dem damn cops arrested Jimmy again last night. He wasn’t doin’ nothin’ to nobody. That store window he was coming out of was already broke when he got there.”

Or like this:

“It’s YOUR fault I slept with those other three guys. If you would treat me better, I wouldn’t be that way.”

I can go on, but the bottom line is when are we, as a society AND (especially) as individuals, going to start taking responsibility for our own actions?

I tell my children all the time when they say “She’s making me mad”, she (or others) can’t make you anything. It’s on you how you react or handle yourself in a situation. It boils down to this:

And if the intellect of that meme is too great for you, let me break it down further for you:

Just Another Brick in the Wall

A man walks by a fountain everyday. Each day, he tosses a penny in for luck. It’s no big deal or loss to him.  What does a penny matter, right?  Consider that at the end of a year, he will have thrown in $3.65. Still not a big deal? Say 10 people do it. What about 100? $365 laying at the bottom of a fountain, does that have your attention? This is how accidents, rudeness, apathy, and other inconveniences work when they are closely grouped to an individual.

Take into consideration someone whom you cause a “minor inconvenience” to. You didn’t hold the elevator door, something small. No big deal, right? But when the door shuts you hear slam his fist into the door and curse. That was a bit overdramatic, wasn’t it? But what if I told you someone had already cut him off in traffic, stepped on his foot, was splashed by a taxi, someone knocked into him and spilled his coffee, and THEN you didn’t hold the elevator for him. Does that change your perception? To him, you’ve become another brick in the wall.

When you’ve become a brick in someone’s wall, your perception of it is this:

Meanwhile, to the person you’ve become a brick to, their perception of it may be this:

Sometimes you need to change your perspective, your point of view. To see what others are seeing to fully grasp where they are coming from. Of course, this means not being self-centered and apathetic to the world around you.

Externally, you may not understand why someone walks past you without returning a greeting. You may call them any of a series of names to make yourself feel better in exchange for their rudeness. Later, you find out they just heard that a family member had died and were on their way to be with their family. When you put yourself in their spot and realize you were doing nothing more than throwing bricks on the wall to them, how do you feel then?

What’s worse is you don’t know how many people have been throwing bricks in the wall. You don’t know how long it’s been going on. So when a person responds “out of whack” with the situation at hand, perhaps you should respond with a concerned “What’s wrong?” rather than a retalitory “What’s wrong with you?”

A little compassion and common courtesy could go a long way.

“All in all it was all just bricks in the wall.
All in all you were all just bricks in the wall.” -Pink Floyd

Dear Robin,

Dear Robin, (may I call you Robin?)

I wish I could have said this to you in person. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to be graced in your presence.  I hope my thoughts can reach you now.

You’ve been a part of my life since I can remember. 1978, just before my 7th birthday, “Mork & Mindy” hits the air and I was captivated. The crazy handshakes, laugh, and dialogue kept me staring at the television (sans blinking) for 30 minutes every week. One time, my Dad would get a haircut and when my Sister and I mentioned it, he would respond “Wrong! I got them all cut!” The first episode after a new cut for you, I remember Mindy’s Dad walked in and said “Mork! You got a haircut!” and Mork (you) responded “Wrong!  I got them all cut! ARARAR (Mork’s laugh)” I looked at my Dad and said “Hey stole your joke!” He responded “No, he called me and I told him he could use it.” (Yes, I believed him. Imagine my disappointment when I found out he lied!)

That was just the beginning for us. You went on to play Popeye (one of my favorites) in the movie. I went to the theater and watched it endlessly on HBO.  I was not, however, allowed to watch your stand-up in the early 80’s on HBO.  Years later, I would learn that was a good call for this (at the time) 8 year old.

“Live at the Met” was your first stand-up I was able to watch. If I wasn’t before this, I was (and still am) a fan for life! To this day, 27 years later, I still quote lines from this show. “Now that I’m a reformed alcoholic, I’ve learned ‘hey, I’m still the same asshole, I just have fewer dents in my car!'”

I learned that Jonathan Winters, during his time with you on “Mork & Mindy”, had trained you in the art of improv. In fact, I just listened to Henry Winkler say he and you would go out on the lot and just improv, drawing the attention of all around you.  I watched you in live situations and (as many of my friends and family can attest to) have learned, mimicked, and at times memorized that crazy style. For that alone, I owe you everything!

But you weren’t all about comedy, were you? The time and effort you put in to helping people was equally, if not more, inspiring. Christopher Reeve’s family, Comic Relief, and many other charitable events I’m sure I am not even aware of. This, if for no other reason, is why you are poking angels in the ribs at this moment saying “How about these halos, huh? Huh?”

But there was more. The movies I watched endless times, not only hits like Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poet Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, and the Night at the Museum. But the ones some people missed out on: Awakenings, Hook, Aladdin, Toys, Birdcage, Jack, Father’s Day, Flubber, What Dreams May Come, One Hour Photo, Robots, RV, Man of the Year, License to Wed, and your last television show, The Crazy Ones.

This afternoon, the world learned of your death. I don’t know what happened leading up to this moment. But what I do know is since that moment, the world has poured their hearts out, paying tribute to your career, your genius, and your heart. I hope heaven is ready to laugh.

I, however, am not ready to laugh. Today is a day of true sadness. Today is a day of remembrance.

Today I pay tribute by saying “Oh Captain, my Captain!”

Rest In Peace, Robin.

Thank you for EVERYTHING!

A fan,

Ryan

Getting a Lengthy, Restful Sleep

How many times have you had a “quick” or “fast” dream, only to find out your night is over and it’s time to get up?

Too many, right?

Wouldn’t it be great to have a dream about a week’s vacation, someplace relaxing, in its entirety, soaking in every moment that isn’t saturated in stress and THEN wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next day?

Wouldn’t that be great?