Greatest life lessons from Charles Bukowski

Nannool: Greatest life lessons from Charles Bukowski

Known to be one of the greatest contemporary poets to ever live, Charles Bukowski was a craftsman of sentences. He was known for his unconventional writing style that defies the standards of elitism in the literary world. Every word, wisdom and verse that he moulded in his typewriter carried a sense of honesty that only Bukowski could ever do.

On the surface, his literary career may seem too vulgar for some readers. Considered to be the godfather of dirty realism, he wrote about alcoholism, gambling and blue-collar jobs. Many critics would label him as a cynic and a sloppy writer who displayed boorish behaviour during poetry readings. 

Despite his controversial and unusual way of life, Bukowski’s writings are filled with raw life lessons that would force you to look at your own life. Here are some of them:

No one else is there to save you

In his poem Nobody But You, Bukowski wrote ‘Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it.’ 

Oftentimes, it’s much easier to wait for someone to save you from your misery than do it yourself. Learning how to recover from a messy situation takes a lot of courage but no matter how hard you try, things just never seem to work out the way they should. That’s why you choose to give it up, hoping that someone else will do the rough work for you.

However, only you can save yourself. You can depend on other people all you want, but no one else knows your situation more than you do. You have to be responsible for your own actions and clean up the mess little by little, no matter how tough the situation is. 

Don’t let your emotions get the best of you

In Charles Bukowski’s journal collection, he once said that no feeling or emotion is final. Every time you’d climb out of bed for work, you’d often think that you will never make it anymore. 

It’s normal to feel hopeless and desperate, but remember that these things will pass. Don’t let your emotions dictate your every action since they change from time to time. Calm down, assess what you’re feeling and accept that this isn’t permanent.

Work hard for yourself

Bukowski was known to be a critic of capitalism. He’d often point out that people are forced to wake up by an alarm clock and wait for hours in traffic just to make money for someone else. This tragic scenario had always bugged him for decades and how people willingly succumbed to this situation.

Working hard is perfectly fine, but if that hard work is dedicated to someone else, you will end up miserable. Find your own rhythm and purpose that go beyond the monthly paychecks, promotions and work tasks that never seem to end. Whatever the case may be, don’t trap yourself. Always find your way out, no matter what the situation is.

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