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Err in the Direction of Kindness

In 2013, George Saunders delivered a speech to the graduates of Syracuse University which focused on the importance of kindness throughout our entire life.   The speech was so well received; it was made into a book called Congratulations by the Way.  Last weekend,  as synchronicity would have it, I came across this book and found the message to be very simple yet profound.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada, let us take the time to reflect on what is truly important in life.  In George’s speech, he reinforces that at the end of our life, it is not the career, the money, the various goals that we have set out for ourselves to achieve that we will most remember, but instead, it will be those moments of kindness and our biggest regrets will be “failures of kindness.”

What little “moment of kindness” can you do this weekend?  Maybe it is as simple as picking up the phone and calling someone who has been on your mind just to let them know that they are in your thoughts and you are wishing them well.  I actually had this hit home for me this morning when I opened my email.  I had been thinking of a friend that I hadn’t seen for a while and wondered how she was doing, but I didn’t give her a call.  In her email to me today, it just so happens that the same day she had popped into my mind, her mother had passed away.  I regret now not picking up the phone to check in on her.

Let’s live our life with no regrets and act on those moments of kindness.  I would love to hear your feedback on this and any results from your moments of kindness.  For the full speech, you can review it here:

8 thoughts on “Err in the Direction of Kindness”

  1. Thank you for this Suzanne. Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful nature’s music with us. Here is to speading of kindness to each other. Truly it is the only currency of any real value.

    With very much kindness,

  2. Recently I participated in a trade show where we as vendors received a beautiful purple pocket tote bag – my favorite color! During the event an elderly lady stopped by my booth and purchased one of my 8×10″ matted photos of an owl that reminded her of her cabin she used to have. We chatted for quite awhile and she was very fascinating to listen to. When she went to leave she mentioned that she had purchased so much stuff that day that it was getting awkward carrying it all … then I remembered my purple tote bag. When I offered it to her she was so pleased and grateful. Throughout the day I seen her a number of times … carrying that beautiful purple tote bag … and every time … it made my heart smile 🙂
    Every morning when I get up I have a mantra: “What will inspire me today? How can I make a difference? and Why not me?” … today I was not only inspired but I made a difference … after all … why not me? <3

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