on love and kindness and the meaning of life


For most of the day yesterday, I was working on an assignment that, in a nutshell, asked me to distill my philosophy on life to 1000 words.  You know, more or less.

No pressure.

To say that this has been a challenge would be an understatement.  It has been much harder, in fact, than I thought it would be when I accepted the assignment.   But it has also been a really great exercise in expressing what it is I believe in down on paper.

I won't tell you the details of what I wrote -- I'm still working it, to be honest, so you'll have to wait until it's published -- but in a nutshell, it is this:

Each day, I think we're meant to try to be better, kinder people than we were the day before.  And when we fail, we're meant to shake it off, wake up the next day, and try again. 

I admit this is pretty simplistic, but hey, it's my truth. 

As it happens, this week, I also came across the transcript of a commencement speech given by author George Saunders in the New York Times.  It's a beautiful speech, based on the same concept, although written far more eloquently than I wrote.  So I thought that today, I'd feature it as today's story of the day. 

An excerpt: 

"Now, one useful thing you can do with an old person, in addition to borrowing money from them, or asking them to do one of their old-time 'dances,' so you can watch, while laughing, is ask: 'Looking back, what do you regret?'  And they’ll tell you.  Sometimes, as you know, they’ll tell you even if you haven’t asked.  Sometimes, even when you’ve specifically requested they not tell you, they’ll tell you.

So: What do I regret?  Being poor from time to time?  Not really.  Working terrible jobs, like 'knuckle-puller in a slaughterhouse?'  (And don’t even ASK what that entails.)"  (read more)

Here's wishing you a day full of kindness, friends.