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In the Direction of Kindness.

George Saunders's Syracuse University convocation speech - published three days ago in The New York Times - is one of the best things I've read all year. Possibly ever. It may be old news by now, but take a look if you haven't already. It's brilliant and thoughtful and funny - the perfect way to start a weekend, a new month, a new adventure, a new life. Below, my favorite bit, toward the end:


"Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness.  Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.  That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.  Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s.  Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place.  Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.
And someday, in 80 years, when you’re 100, and I’m 134, and we’re both so kind and loving we’re nearly unbearable, drop me a line, let me know how your life has been.  I hope you will say: It has been so wonderful."
Read the full speech, here, and have a beautiful, happy weekend. See you Monday.

Photos by Max Wanger.
 

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