Meercats. National Geographic.
It's easy to get tangled in the emotions of daily life in the city....and hammered down by the crowds, the curt responses, the pushing, the competition just to navigate public spaces.
And, it's exhausting, and tedious, and trying....and sometimes it's hard to be kind, when the bad experiences in the day outnumber the good. Or when people would rather run over you in their cars then slow down....but there is a lot of kindness too.
It's important to remember this kindness, it's usually lurking beneath the surface, and it's amazing when people just open up and talk to each other....a lot of good can happen.
George Saunders recently delivered a convocation speech to students at Syracuse University....a speech with a provocative and simple message. A simple but complicated message to be kind to one another....in his words:
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.
Now, the million-dollar question: What’s our problem? Why aren’t we kinder?"
Here is the link to his full speech here: