In the past days, people have been saddened by the death of Robin Williams. Both mainstream and social media are replete with stories about him: how he has brought laughter, joy and inspiration to millions through his movies and TV shows, his many acts of kindness often anonymous and unheralded, the many people he has helped often ordinary and simple folks he never knew, his kind and unassuming ways ever ready to extend a hand in friendship or to help, the way he has endeared himself to the Bay Area communities by simply being there. And behind all these, people are puzzled why and what drove him to commit suicide.
All of us have personal demons to wrestle with. And our life stories are about these struggles. There are stories of inspiring victories and of devastating defeats. Most life stories are a mad mixture of both success and triumphs. Every story is unique, one of a kind and never to be repeated. And every story is worth listening to. But we can never judge nor condemn another for we cannot fully fathom what goes on within them. We can only listen and be grateful for the privilege of listening.
I have recently read about children who are afflicted with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). RAD is characterized by markedly disturbed and developmentally inappropriate ways of relating socially in most contexts. These children will lie without batting an eyelash. They would just take or steal anything they want, believing it is their prerogative. RAD is rooted somewhere in the past where a child never received enough love and nurturing as he is growing up. Deprived of such love and nurturing, children with RAD would take things that will satisfy their longing or create a world of lies that would give them comfort. How can we judge or even condemn such children?
Still, I believe we are good by nature because we came from the source of all goodness. We may not judge. We may not condemn. We are challenged to love and to forgive not seven times, but seventy-seven times. And the Lord, in His kindness and mercy, will make everything right in His time
Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed,
and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”