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Friday, June 18, 2021

‘Err in the direction of kindness’: George Saunders

"Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial," he said.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
May 27, 2021 8:20:32 am
"Do all the other things, the ambitious things," he said. (File photo)

American writer George Saunders gave an impassioned speech at Syracuse University in 2013. “[Y]our life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up. Speed it along. Start right now. There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really: selfishness. But there’s also a cure. So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf — seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life,” he said.

“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,” he added.

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