Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says "Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. Says "But Doctor... I am Pagliacci."
I'm not sure about the source of that joke but I think its quite relevant with the recent passing of comedian Robin Williams.
As I'm sure you have already read elsewhere Williams apparently committed suicide yesterday.
At first glance it feels to sudden and tragic. Some people may even think, "How or why would one of the funniest men to ever walk the face of the planet kill himself?"
Its probably because for a lot of people who are depressed, they choose something and put their all into it to the point that they are able to achieve levels of greatness and become legends in their art. Robin's art just happen to be comedy.
Throughout his life Williams battled addictions to alcohol and drugs and was in rehab several times. To me that sounds like he was reaching a point where the his art was no longer enough on its own. But it seems something, I'm not sure what, but something brought him back from that edge. And this time there was nothing there to bring him back.
I just hope that whatever he was looking for he found it.
He gave us so much drama, comedy, and good acting that it would take too long to list everything he did (although my favorites are Aladdin and Dead Poets Society) so I'll just say goodbye.
(I hope there is no need to say this but I won't take kindly to saying that he was a coward or selfish for killing himself in the comments.