As we all know by now, actor Robin Williams died by suicide earlier this week. Sadly, his passing comes on the heels of other departures by famous people like Maya Angelou, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple and Paul Walker to name just a few. And while death always catches our attention, sometimes it also causes us to catch our breath—especially when it strikes those we consider too young. Yet the truth is, we don’t know these people. Our only connection to them comes from highly filtered stories from the media. So what is it that triggers the widespread mourning that so many feel when tragedy hits our celebrities? Here are nine reasons I found that might help to explain the phenomenon.
“Doubt everything or believe everything: these are two equally convenient strategies. With either we dispense with the need for reflection.” ~ Henri Poincare
Ever had a conversation with someone and realized that no matter what you said, there was no way your companion would grasp what you were trying to say? One time I was talking excitedly to my nephew Mark about some studies I had recently uncovered about how our minds work. In complete seriousness Mark stopped me and said, “Studies, oh you can’t believe studies like that.” In that moment the conversation ended before it began. With that said, if you are convinced that life is finite and there is no heaven or any kind of existence beyond the physical, chances are good that nothing I can write will make any difference. But, if you are open to some ideas that are intriguing, it might be valuable to read a bit about the ongoing debate of life after death before completely making up your mind. [Read more…]