Meet George Saunders

"Err in the direction of kindness" was the advice given by George Saunders in his convocation speech at Syracuse University.

There was nothing left. I was done. I’d been told I had to file just one more story for the graduation pages, but I was coming up empty.

When I turned to the Internet to try to find some quotes that might serve as my muse I found this from Henry David Thoreau—“ Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

Continuing my quest for inspiration I was happily introduced by Google to a man named George Saunders.

George Saunders is an English professor and New York Times best-selling author who delivered the convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013.

It went viral—You Tube, Huffngton Post—all over the place! That’s how it came to be that Google offered George’s name at the very top of its’ results page.

His message to the grads was to always “err in the direction of kindness.”

That speech has now been published and illustrated as the book Congratulations, By The Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness (Random House 2014).

There’s not enough space here to reprint his entire address but as you go through this grad weekend I wholeheartedly recommend that you find ten minutes and Google George.

There is, however, room for a short taste of what he said to those graduates; and it still rings true in the Boundary a year later.

“Your parents are so proud and happy today. One of their fondest dreams has come true: you have accomplished something difficult and tangible that has enlarged you as a person and will make your life better, from here on in, forever.”

Congratulations, Class of 2014 from everyone at the Boundary Creek Times.

As George said, “I wish you great happiness, all the luck in the world, and a beautiful summer.”

 

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