It is difficult to imagine that Robin Williams is no longer with us.
He was comedian, actor, artist, and inspiration to many. He tragically took his life in 2014. In the same year, Apple released a commercial advertising its new iPad during the NFL playoffs. The voice-over is as follows:
“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. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me, O life of the questions of these recurring. Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: that you are here. That life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.’ That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”
The ad pulls from Walt Whitman’s poem “O Me! O Life!” and was part of Robin Williams dialogue in a wonderful movie from 1989 called Dead Poet’s Society. When I read (hear) these words, I think about my profession as a surgeon and physician. I care tremendously about my patients and I am here for them. Yes, I can help sustain life and maybe even extend it. However, I respect life. I respect my patient’s wishes, values, and desires. Most importantly, the quality of life of my patients is first and foremost. Whether you are a new patient or old, I will listen, provide recommendations, be frank, and openly share with you the risks and benefits before we take action.
At the time of writing this, the commercial is still available on YouTube.