The Best Life Advice from Jack Kerouac

Today would have been legendary beat writer Jack Kerouac’s 90th birthday, had he not passed away at the age of 47 due to cirrhosis. The de facto leader and most famous member of the Beat movement, Kerouac’s writings and ideas influenced an entire generation, and his poetry, novels, and letters continue to inspire people all over the world today. Though he had his own failings, the man’s writing is rich with bits of advice, Buddhism-tinged musings, and pithy observations about the nature of the world, and whether they all be wise or not, we’ve collected some of these to share with you on his birthday. After all, we could all do a lot worse than to emulate the idealistic, passionate Jack Kerouac.

“One man practicing kindness in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls.” — The Dharma Bums

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”

“Forgive everyone for your own sins and be sure to tell them you love them which you do.”

“Ah, life is a gate, a way, a path to Paradise anyway, why not live for fun and joy and love or some sort of girl by a fireside, why not go to your desire and LAUGH…” — Big Sur

“No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength. Learning for instance, to eat when he’s hungry and sleep when he’s sleepy.” — Lonesome Traveller

“The only truth is music.”

“…we all must admit that everything is fine and there’s no need in the world to worry, and in fact we should realize what it would mean to us to UNDERSTAND that we’re not REALLY worried about ANYTHING.” — The Dharma Bums

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view.” — On the Road