For a penniless pal I offer the Hallelujah moment of a ruined ...

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For a penniless pal I offer the Hallelujah moment of a ruined pop poet

The tale of Leonard Cohen and his thieving manager may motivate my friend who’s fallen on hard times

I have a friend who has recently had a serious financial setback. He is being brave about it, at least on the outside, with people who are no closer than friends, but it’s a fearful thing to be left with nothing when you were expecting something, at a time when it feels as though there’s nothing you can do about it.

I’ve wracked my brain for what to say to him by way of consolation or encouragement, and honestly, I have nothing. I could say, “If there’s anything I can do, please let me know”, but what if he says, “Well, you can give me some of your money”? I’m not giving him my money, or not enough to make a difference, and that simple truth exposes the hollowness of the gesture.

I also don’t want to tell him any inspiring tales. It’s exasperating when people tell you inspiring tales while you’re low and desperate. Inspiring tales tend to suggest that everything happens for a reason, and that the reason is a good one. None of this is true, but when he’s feeling better, I’d like to tell him about Leonard Cohen, not because the story is inspiring, but because it might be motivating...

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