Robin Williams and 5 Inclusive Lessons

Robin Williams and 5 Inclusive Lessons

Robin Williams and 5 Inclusive Lessons 600 428 Russ Ewell

Robin Williams inspired me.  His work radiated hope and inclusion.  His death reminds me of lessons learned.   Here are five Robin Williams inspired inclusive lessons.


1) Empathy and Patch Adams

“Last night with Rudy, I connected to another human being. I want more of that. I want to learn about people, help them with their troubles.”

Hunter Patch Adams

When we see someone in pain we have a choice.  We can humanize and connect through their pain, or dehumanize by disconnecting from their pain.  Empathy is making the daily decision to connect rather than disconnect.   This decision to connect lies at the foundation of all inclusion.

2) Friendship and Good Will Hunting

“Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth”? You got that from Vickers’ “Work in Essex County,” page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you, is that your thing, you come into a bar, read some obscure passage and then pretend – you pawn it off as your own, as your own idea just to impress some girls, embarrass my friend?

Will Hunting

E-Soccer was founded on the idea of friendship.   My ideas about friendship are rooted in my adolescent years, when I experienced the protection of neighbors and friends older than me.   Every child and adult with special needs deserves even requires friends like this, the kind of friend Sean McGuire was to Will Hunting.  These are typical peers whose purpose and passion is to protect and include their special needs friends.

It's Not Your Fault

It’s Not Your Fault

3) Changing the World and Dead Poets Society

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

John Keating

Inclusion is a word capable of changing the world.  The more we live, write, and create inclusive communities, the more the idea will spread.  When we describe the transformative effects of schools, clubs, and communities where those with special needs stand shoulder to shoulder with their typical peers, the idea will spread.  Inclusion is a word capable of changing the world…all it needs are passionate poets to speak.

4) Awakenings and the Hope of Healing

What we do know is that, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter. This is what we’d forgotten – the simplest things.

Dr. Malcom Sayer

Healing is a difficult word.  Hope and healing is a difficult phrase.  Those of us who have special needs children often find ourselves protected from the false hope of healing.  Protected from those who would take advantage of our vulnerability.  In the effort to protect us from the false sometimes we are not allowed to hope.  Hope is not always a fool.  Sometimes hope sees first what others will eventually see too late.  Inclusion is about being a friend who protects while at the same time providing hope.

5) Mrs. Doubtfire and Family

Your Honor, in the past two months, I have secured a residence, I’ve refurbished that residence and made it an environment fit for children. Those are your words. I’m also holding down a job as a shipping clerk. So I believe I met your requirements ahead of schedule. In regards to my behavior, I can only plead insanity, because ever since my children were born, the moment I looked at them, I was crazy about them. And once I held them, I was hooked. I’m addicted to my children, sir. I love them with all my heart, and the idea of someone telling me I can’t be with them, I can’t see them every day… it’s like someone saying I can’t have air. I can’t live without air, and I can’t live without them. Listen, I would do anything. I just want to be with them. You know I need that, sir. We have a history. And I just— they mean everything to me, and they need me as much as I need them. So please, don’t take my kids away from me. Thank you.

Daniel Hillard

Inclusion begins at home. We must develop, nurture, and radiate a crazy love for our children with special needs.  This type of love is contagious.  Family members even strangers will catch it, but we must be the ones to spread it.

About the author

Russ Ewell

Russ Ewell is the founder of E-Sports, and an advocate for inclusion in education and technology.

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