Commonplace Book Entry 7: Leonard Cohen Quote

We are all living with defeat and with failure and with disappointment and with bewilderment. We all are living with these dark forces that modify our lives. I think the manual for living with defeat is to first of all acknowledge the fact that everyone suffers, that everyone is engaged in a mighty struggle for self-respect, for meaning, for significance. I think the first step would be to recognize that your struggle is the same as everyone else’s struggle and that your suffering is the same as everyone else’s suffering. I think that’s the beginning of a responsible life otherwise we are in a continual battle, a savage battle, with each other. Unless we recognize that each of us suffers in the same way, there is no possible solution…political or social or spiritual. So that would be the beginning—the recognition that we all suffer.


This was a quote that Professor Hoskins posted on Slack. When I read it, the words resonated with my current thoughts and feelings. I come from a very homogenous place. For the most part everyone looks, thinks and acts the same. Since coming to college I have been immersed in an environment where every individual is unique and lives a life distinct to themselves. As people we have a tendency to focus on ourselves and believe we are the only people suffering or fighting some kind of battle. Making news friends and meeting new people makes us realize that we are all in the same fight together and that sharing it with others is what helps us get through.

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