Tapestry

Dear Grads: Above all, Be Kind

If you could go back and tell your younger self the most important thing you've learned, what would you say? The writer George Saunders tried it during a commencement speech - and his message went viral.
(Getty)

George Saunders' latest book of short stories, Tenth of December was declared by The New York Times Magazine to be "the best book you'll read this year."

Saunders gave a commencement speech in 2013 at Syracuse University where he teaches writing. "What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness," he said.

"Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering and I responded sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly."

The speech made its way around the world online. You can read the text here. It has now been published as a book, entitled Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness.

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: George Saunders speaks at The 2009 New Yorker Festival: Shouts & Murmurs Live Humor Revue at DGA on October 18, 2009 in New York City. ((Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for The New Yorker))

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