The world has been mourning the passing of the actor Robin Williams. One of his best performances came in the movie Jack. Williams stars as a boy who suffers from a unusual aging disorder that has aged him four times faster than a normal human being. As a result he starts school for the first time with the appearance of a 40 year old man. The movie explores human frailty. In a moving scene towards the end, Jack, with the appearance of a 72-year old but only 18 years old, arrives at his graduation ceremony and is given the honour of delivering the year's valedictory speech. Here is a moving quote from it:
I don't have very much time these days so I'll make it quick. Like my life. You know, as we come to the end of this phase of our life, we find ourselves trying to remember the good times and trying to forget the bad times, and we find ourselves thinking about the future. We start to worry , thinking, "What am I gonna do? Where am I gonna be in ten years?" But I say to you, "Hey, look at me!" Please, don't worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you're ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day... make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did.
- ROBIN WILLIAMS
(As Jack Charles Powell in the movie Jack (1996))
Williams life was certainly spectacular - not just for himself but also countless millions whose lives he enriched through the sheer beauty of his acting. And in that quote he sums up pretty well the challenge of living. Life is fleeting. We have not got very long on this planet. We need to all be regularly acquainted with death. As the Preacher says in the Bible, 'It is better to go to a funeral than to a party. We all must die, and everyone living should think about this' (Ecclesiastes 7:2). In the end we all die alone and the sooner we have a Companion who can hold our hand beyond the grave the better.
Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013