The huge response to a call for kindness by George Saunders belies the fashionable idea that it is seen as a weaknessWe do not live in a world that celebrates kindness. When we’re praising our friends and lovers to others, we might use accolades like “sexy” or “funny” or “really good at pétanque”, but kindness rarely gets a look in. We hardly ever see it on TV – whether what we watch reflects our aspirations or actualities, anyone who sat through the last series of The X Factor or The Apprentice could be forgiven for thinking that we all live to belittle and demean people in the hope that it will help us pursue our own advancement. Kindness is weakness; it isn’t fashionable. But after reading author George Saunders’ commencement address to the Syracuse University graduating class, I’m hoping this is about to change. In the speech, which was made several months ago, but reposted thousands of times from the New York Times website over the weekend, Saunders recalls his greatest regret: not being kinder to a former classmate, who was bullied, saying “what I regret most in my life are failures of kindness”. The huge response to Saunders’ speech …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books