Humanity as a Privilege

January 11, 2013


By Koseli. Image from Up the Wolves.

This is the most beautiful thing I’ve read today and I had to share.

The ancients are right: the dear old human experience is a singular, difficult, shadowed, brilliant experience that does not resolve into being comfortable in the world. The valley of the shadow is part of that, and you are depriving yourself if you do not experience what humankind has experienced, including doubt and sorrow. We experience pain and difficulty as failure instead of saying, I will pass through this, everyone I have ever admired has passed through this, music has come out of this, literature has come out of it. We should think of our humanity as a privilege. — Marilynne Robinson

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January 16, 2013 at 5:32 am

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity January 11, 2013 at 8:54 am

What a wonderful way to re-frame the challenges and difficulties and sorrows in life.


2 Kristen E January 11, 2013 at 9:04 am

Love it! Since I lost both my jobs last month, I’ve been having a hard time and feeling bad about myself. This helps.


3 Koseli Cummings January 11, 2013 at 9:09 am

Kristen, I am so sorry to hear that. Job loss can be devastating. Thinking about you and rooting for you in your next steps.

Marilynne’s quote is awe-inspiring. I’m so happy it helped.


4 Kelly January 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.


5 juliagblair January 11, 2013 at 9:27 am

Really appreciate your sharing this thought by Marilynne Robinson. I am inspired by her faith in and love for the human experience. Love and hope and faith are far stronger than their opposites. It’s good that we’re learning to be more open and accepting and sharing . We begin to understand the complexities and wonders and miracles and sorrows of mortality. We understand best what we personally experience. Love you, darling!


6 Katie January 11, 2013 at 9:27 am

Reminds me of when my mother-in-law was going through cancer and felt like she “failed” if her white blood cell count wasn’t where it should be. She aptly knew that was silly, but was surprised at how instead of cancer being something we “go through” cancer is often seen as a battle we have the power to “win.”


7 Jenni Bailey January 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

Totally beautiful!


8 Aline January 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

That’s so inspiring and true… This last week I’m going through bad things in my job. So it’s always nice to stop, breath deeply and read something so special. Doundt and sorrow can be good things in our lives if we know how to look, and trust God. Thank you.


9 Hadley Duncan Howard January 11, 2013 at 11:35 am

Marilynne Robinson is a poet! Every one of her books is a masterpiece. I read them all slowly, and pondered as I went. Thanks for sharing this today.


10 Eva January 11, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Designmom (and Marilynne Robinson), you always hit the nail on the head. This is exactly what I believe. Having gone through a very difficult time (due to some intense family trauma), I now feel grateful for it. I have grown from it, I have learned to love better and I have learned to empathize with the suffering. The ancients were right indeed. Love your blog.


11 Bestof2sisters January 12, 2013 at 12:59 am

Wow. That is beautiful. Simple, yet so moving. Thank you Koseli.


12 jen January 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm

incredibly written quote – thank you for sharing. life is all in how we frame it, how we choose to see it and sometimes it’s vital to reframe. my 2nd child, my son and his health troubles have taught me – have taught us – so much and there has been much beauty in the midst of the pain and frustration. it is a privilege to feel it ALL, to see it ALL, to be here.


13 Bethany January 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm

I LOVE Marilynne Robinson. Her new book of essays is marvelous. It was a pleasure to run into her here! Cheers!


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