Be Kind—You Won’t Regret It


Check out George Saunders’s graduation speech to the students of Syracuse University, where he is a professor.

It’s rife with exhortations to kindness and references to monkey-borne illnesses. You know, the usual.

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.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →