Life’s Regrets are Failures of Kindness

Kindness is all that matters in the end

Writer and professor George Saunders spoke at Princeton’s graduation earlier this summer, but the speech—click here for the full speech—is just making its way around the internet. It’s beautiful, eloquent, and poignant—what you’d expect from a bestselling author. If, however, you have the attention span of a gnat and are too lazy to read the speech even on a Friday, we’ve handily pulled out a Cliff’s Notes version, revealing the giant, easy secret to happiness: be kind.

“Now, one useful thing you can do with an old person, in addition to borrowing money from them, or asking them to do one of their old-time “dances,” so you can watch, while laughing, is ask: “Looking back, what do you regret?”  And they’ll tell you.”

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.”

Because kindness, it turns out, is hard – it starts out all rainbows and puppy dogs, and expands to include…well, everything.”

You won’t regret choices, decisions, adventures, mistakes—you’ll regret the relationships you didn’t forge and the joy you didn’t spread through kindness.

Image: Some rights reserved by SweetOnVeg

Category: Belief


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