"Be kind to people and don't judge, for you do not know what demons they carry and what battles they are fighting."
- Vashti Quiroz-Vega
Loneliness. Chronic illness. Feelings of worthlessness. Addiction. Worries about one's children. Obesity. Anorexia. Money worries. Loss of job. Humiliation. Loss of a loved one. Maybe even worse, the feeling that one has failed a loved one. Demons that bedevil many of us at one time or another in our lives.
The thing that we have to realize is that everybody has them. It is part of what makes us human. But even though those demons are gnawing away at us on the inside, other people can't always detect them.
That must be the way it is with people who suffer terribly from depression. People like Robin Williams. Even extremely successful and admired people, people who appear outwardly to us to be at the top of their game, rich, surrounded by those who love them, even these people can feel worthless and alone and depressed to the point that death seems preferable to continuing in a life full of psychic pain.
How sad that a man like Williams who brought so much joy to the world should have felt so isolated and alone. Whether or not his death was a deliberate suicide, it seems likely that those feelings of depression contributed to it.
And let that be a cautionary tale to us about making judgments of others. As Quiroz-Vega said, it's better to be kind to people, remembering that they, too, have their demons and they are fighting a life or death battle, whether or not we can see it.