In the tradition of odd writers giving great commencement speeches, George Saunders offered some wisdom to the class of 2013 recently. It’s been going around the internet, so you may have already come across it. But like most great speeches, it won’t hurt you to go through it again.
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.
Be excellent to each other.
– Michael Moats