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Finding Nirvana: 8 Quotes From Kurt Cobain That Will Make You Rethink Your Life

Legendary member of the 27-club, Kurt Cobain may be one of the most iconic musicians to live in grunge. His name looms heavy, like a curse on the lips, as we’ve come to speak it in reverence and hints of mystery.

The controversial suicide would only whet our thirst for more of the tortured artist, the brooding heroin addict, and encapsulate him as a figure of the lost generation, “one of the good ones,” as we recall his views and theories of life, love and death 20 years later.

He was a progressive, and like all progressives, he had a hard time living in a world of superficiality and backwards ideals. He couldn’t deal with his fame and the scope of his influence. Most of all, he couldn’t deal with life.

He was just as lost and disappointed with himself, and society, as all of us. Of course, like many tortured artists, he fell victim to drugs, and that’s where his credibility is lost for many.

However, for those who don’t view people and the world through a narrow scope of prejudices and judgments, Cobain was a profound thinker and an even more profound musician.

His insights and his views of the world made his music captivating and for many, life-changing. Today Nirvana is as revered and respected as it was 25 years ago, proving that thoughts and feelings of the controversial artist are universal and transcendent of time.

So, on the 47th birthday of the deceased legend, let’s take a moment to recall the words of advice and wisdom of the man who saw better things for the world in which he lived. Let’s take time to ask ourselves, what advice would Kurt Cobain give to confused and lost Millennials today?

On Living With Yourself:

“I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.”

Cobain was famous for his individuality and unique style, both in music and his choice of clothes. He was the poster boy for grunge and the themes of alienation, apathy and the desire for freedom it embodied.

He didn’t have any qualms voicing his opinions and his demons, drawing a fan base that felt isolated and weird themselves.


On Death:

“If you die you’re completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on. I’m not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I’ve got.”

The idea of death and how to use that knowledge or stance you take on it affects how you live your life. Cobain and many other artists find respite in the notion that life is fleeting death in inevitable.

Accepting this truth enables them to live their lives to the highest capacity, even if that means dying young.


On Drugs:

“Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem. They’re no good at all.”

Only someone who has experienced the true effects of drugs can speak about them unbiasedly. They know what drugs can do and the true harm they can inflict.

People who have suffered from addiction are the only ones worth listening to when it comes to understanding them.


On Graduation:

“The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.”

During this time in our lives, when it seems like anything is possible, yet everything is out of reach, Cobain gives a clear answer to what you should be doing with your life.

When it boils down to it, nothing will ever fulfill you unless it’s something that will make the world a better place.


On Friendship:

“A friend is nothing but a known enemy.”

As we get older, we are hit with the hard truth that friends aren’t always there to stay and people are inherently on their own.

People will spend their lives disappointing you, leaving you and ultimately hurting you, even the ones you love. You must learn to accept friends for who and what they are in order to live with the least amount of heartbreak.


On Gay Rights:

“I started being really proud of the fact that I was gay, even though I wasn’t.”

Cobain advocated for gay rights way before it was “cool.” He felt that gays were just another segment of society that wasn’t understood — cast to the side, like himself.

They were another group that was ostracized for being different, unconventional. Nirvana’s music reflects this with lyrics of societal misfits and alienation.


On Vegetarians:

“It’s okay to eat fish because they don’t have feelings.”

This one’s just a generally badass quote on what you can tell your vegan friend who’s looking at you for ordering salmon.


On The Problems Of Our Generation:

“I like to complain and do nothing to make things better.”

The first step to solving your problems is admitting you have them. Cobain was no stranger to self-reflection. He lamented over the state of his inadequacy to change what he felt was wrong with society. His regrets should turn into our call of action.

Top Photo Credit: WENN

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Lauren Martin

Freelance Contributor

Lauren Martin is a Senior Lifestyle Writer at Elite Daily. After graduating from PSU, she moved to NYC to write fart jokes at Smosh Magazine. Making her way to ED, she now writes riveting commentary on nude pics, condoms and first dates.
Lauren Martin is a Senior Lifestyle Writer at Elite Daily. After graduating from PSU, she moved to NYC to write fart jokes at Smosh Magazine. Making her way to ED, she now writes riveting commentary on nude pics, condoms and first dates.

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