Genes have a lot to do with your character. What other reason could there be to follow in the footsteps of our parents almost unconsciously? And if they are good genes coming down to us – then, it’s double the luck. We should be grateful for it. And when that father is someone as amazing as Robin Williams, then you know you have the capability of doing something great.
Everyone has a future
That’s what Zak Williams, the son of Robin Williams, has started doing. After a year had passed since his father’s death, Zak took up the line of humanitarian jobs that his father had left behind. He visited prisons and started educating inmates on how to make a resume, make retirement plans and manage finances. Isn’t that just lovely? He looks upon inmates as people with a future – it’s a good integration process for these isolated people.
A road not taken
Zac has chosen not to go along the lines of acting like his father. Rather, he’s looking forward to bring about a positive change in the society – share his financial knowledge with the inmates for their benefit. And what better place to start than the San Quentin State Prison where the most forgotten of American prisoners live. Zac gives them weekly classes and makes it a better place for them. He gives them the love they fail to get in that environment.
Zac admits that he comes from a privileged family, but that doesn’t mean he would continue to live in it. He has proudly chosen to do this social work and to make sure he’s accountable for it. This is just like his father who had supported several charities around the world. Zac believes he’s still making his father proud by doing such work. And we can bet he is – Robin Williams must be smiling somewhere right now.
A class for Change
Zac’s classes are set up in a very methodical way into three modules.
The first one is re-entry where he teaches communication skills, interview skills and how to make a good resume.
The second one is based on how to understand the nature of finances and how one can manage personal finances properly, including their assets and liabilities.
The final module is based on Retirement and the investment policies that will help in the long run.
Is it working?
The inmates are giving positive feedback to Zak’s efforts. They love the classes and are extremely happy to be part of it. That’s not all. They are so cooperative that one of the inmates have also taken up a leadership position to help Zak with his class. As Williams once said, ‘It’s not hard to be compassionate’. His son shows how easy it is – his compassion can bring about a major change in the inmates of San Quentin and may help to bring out optimism and healthy feelings of love and affection within the prison environment. He is already doing great.
‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world’ – said Robin Williams. His son proves the point. ‘Change the world through the inmates’ may be his version of bringing about a change. What’s your version?