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: http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/george-saunderss-advice-to-graduates/?_r=0