Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book thirty-two: Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness by George Saunders

Apparently I have a real affinity for commencement speeches. This speech, given by George Saunders, is phenomenal. Be rich, be poor, work hard, play hard, live but more importantly, be kind. At every opportunity, hone that more than anything else. Because in the end, being kind and having compassion and being a good human is all that matters.
We get our butts kicked by real life, and people come to our defense, and help us, and we learn that we're not separate, and don't want to be…Most people, as they age, become less selfish and more loving…The great Syracuse poet Hayden Carruth said, in a poem written near the end of his life, that he was mostly Love now.
As you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love. You will gradually be replaced by love. If you have kids, that will be a huge moment in your process of self-diminishment. You really won't care what happens to you, as long as they benefit. 
Do those things that incline you toward big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.
I'm looking forward to reading Way More Than Luck, a book of commencement speeches as soon as the library gets a copy. Or I break down and buy my own.

32 down plus 20 to go.

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