Failures of kindness

George Saunders, a favourite writer of mine, recently delivered a convocation speech (whatever that is) at Syracuse University.

Yeah, you missed it, I missed it – most of us missed it.  Fortunately, the New York Times has reproduced it in full.

It’s…interesting.  Saunders says:

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. 

Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly.  Reservedly.  Mildly.

Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope:  Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder.

I highly recommend taking five minutes to read the whole thing. It’s amusing, heart-felt and undeniably good advice.

Just try to be kinder  To everyone.  Always.

Life’s short; you’ll be dead soon enough, so make your time here count.

Don’t waste time worrying, hating, being petty, looking down on people and letting the chance to do some good pass you by.

Nobody wants to remember the haters, the vicious or the petty squabblers.  As wise Mr Saunders says, the ones we remember best are the ones who were kind.

Try to be kinder, eh?


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