As a millennial obsessed with pop culture and digging up old movies from a young age, I stumbled upon my first entry into the wanderlust worlds of Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau and Robert Frost via sneaking a view of Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society past my bedtime. Far too young to fully understand the depth of the various themes outlined throughout the film until I later encountered the original texts, I nonetheless was emotionally inspired by the overarching message of living life to the fullest without seeking the permission of others to explore self-expression through the arts. It was then that I fell in love with one of my favorite movie characters of all-time, Professor John Keating portrayed by the genius Robin Williams. With Williams’ untimely passing on Monday, it is here that I share five pre-mature life lessons I learned and still carry along my journeys from dear O’ Captain, my Captain John Keating, through quotes and travel images, in honor of one of my favorite actors, comedians, and creative inspirations of all-time. Rest in peace Robin Williams, you will be greatly missed…
1) “Carpe….Hear it? Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”
2) “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
3) “Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular, even though the herd may go (imitating a goat) “that’s baaaad”. Robert Frost said, “Two roads diverged in the wood and I, took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”
4) “Why do I stand up here? Anybody? I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way. The world looks very different up here. Just when you think you know something, you have to look at it in another way…”
5) “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
Thank you for the early source of inspiration…still working on my verse.