Congratulations, by the way – by George Saunders
This is the weekend – a culmination of years of study for high school and college graduates. For my high school students, this is just the start of their years of schooling – the first step to accomplishing their dreams. For the college graduates, this is possibly the end of their formal schooling and the beginning of living those dreams.
While at the library today, I happened on the book, “Congratulations, by the way (Some Thoughts On Kindness)” by George Saunders. This “book” is actually a the transcript of a speech that Saunders gave at the Syracuse University graduation. When I saw it on the shelf, I figured this was probably the most perfect time to read it. (the entire transcript of the speech is also online HERE if you want to read it yourself).
As with most graduation speeches (if not all), Saunders’ speech gives advice. While many give lists of advice, his message is quite simple: be kind. Essentially, life is all about being kind to others. He states that most of the time we are our happiest when others have shown us kindness, and as we age we tend to become kinder, so why wait? Why not start being more kind now?
What great advice, what a way to make a difference starting now. Yes, we can make a difference through other actions, but by living life with kindness, being that shining spot in someone else’s life, we can truly change each other’s lives. An inspirational message that all of us can take to heart.
To all my current and former students who take that life-changing walk across the stage this weekend…congratulations. Now, go change the world.
“Congratulations, by the way” by George Saunders 5/5 stars