Most people, as they age, become less selfish and more loving… Since…your life is going to be a gradual process of becoming kinder and more loving: Hurry up, Speed it along. Start right now. There’s a confusion in each of us, a sickness, really: selfishness. But there is also a cure. So be a good and proactive and even somewhat desperate patient on your own behalf — seek out the most efficacious anti-selfishness medicines, energetically, for the rest of your life.
These wise words, delivered by George Saunders, a noted writer, as part of his convocation address at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Science this spring, were quoted in a column by Chautauqua Institution president Tom Becker in a recent column as a reminder to all of us to “Be kind today. And keep it up.”
We can so easily be overwhelmed by all the problems in the world and in our own lives, but I know from my own experience that simple acts of kindness can be both satisfying and successful. I also know how easy it is to forget.
Wouldn’t it be great if at least once a day we suggested to ourselves nothing more complicated than: “Be kind.” Maybe a sign on a bathroom shelf or inside a kitchen cabinet as a reminder? Those words might pull us toward the smallest act of kindness. And who knows where that might lead?