George Saunders’ Advice to Graduates

It’s all here…

Kindness Blog

George Saunders delivered this convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013. It subsequently went viral, and there’s a really solid reason for that; It’s awesome. In case you have not read it already, please enjoy;

George Saunders’ Advice to Graduates
George Saunders by Damon Winter from the The New York Times.

The entire speech, graduation season or not, is well worth reading, and is included below.

“Down through the ages, a traditional form has evolved for this type of speech, which is: Some old fart, his best years behind him, who, over the course of his life, has made a series of dreadful mistakes (that would be me), gives heartfelt advice to a group of shining, energetic young people, with all of their best years ahead of them (that would be you).
And I intend to respect that tradition.
Now, one useful thing you can do with an…

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It’s Been Awhile

I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks – not sure why, other than lethargy, winter, stomach bug – a familiar drill for many I’m sure.  During this time I received notification from our friends at WP that this blog has been around for two years.  So Happy Anniversary to all of us on the karma truck.  Thank you for joining me on this ride, providing direction and encouragement when I wasn’t sure the GPS was working, and for sharing so much of yourselves with me.  I think that has been the most humbling, awesome, breathtaking part of this ride.  There are no better passengers out there.

On the one hand, not much has happened while I’ve been parked; so much has happened while I’ve been parked. It all depends on your perspective I guess.  This life – perhaps it’s all about measurement (which is a bit unfortunate since I am truly terrible with numbers).  But it seems that when measured in days, it can seem so unremarkable, yet when measured in moments it is so rich and full and ridiculous and heartbreaking.

Sir Bogart is now a full-fledged member of the round table.  No longer the precious-though-not-too-smart junior ‘Sir’ of a short three months ago.

Photo on 9-6-13 at 2.06 PM

I realize that we should have named him ‘No-Bogey’ or ‘NoBo’, for it does seem like the most oft-used moniker.  Goofy.  Stubborn.  Selectively hard-of-hearing.  Crazy affectionate.  Yummy.  Yesterday he discovered the basket of wool in the family room and proceeded to unravel a few skeins as he jogged around the house.  I could have been mad, but it reminded me of how our house looked one Halloween after being t-p’ed by my son’s friends.   Don’t get me wrong – I did assume the stance of the stern disciplinarian, albeit a bit insincerely.

NoBo also likes coffee – which really does evoke my ire.  Again, my bad – I walked out of the kitchen for a moment, only to return to see him on the table, enthusiastically downing my morning’s first mug.  And yes, he was wired for hours – think Road Runner taunting Will E. Coyote.  Sirs Archie and Theodore steered clear of the whirling dervish that day.  Lesson learned – mine, not his.  Whither I goest, goest my mug.  Even the decaf.

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We all lived through being hugged too hard by the polar vortex.  I love living where the four seasons announce themselves with little subtlety, but we all could have passed on this kinda cold.  An exaggeration of what winter does to me – I hibernate, read a lot, delight in the aromas that emanate from the slow cooker, worry too much, resolve too little.  Winter – the classic reaction formation – come here, go away.   I love the moments and find the days meld.   “One has to build shelters.  One had to make pockets and live inside them” — Lorrie Moore.  This is what winter provides – permission to live inside one’s self while still being engaged with the larger world.  I guess this is me peeking outside of my pocket, wanting to see you and say ‘hi’.

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