Congratulations, by the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness Themes

George Saunders
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Love and Kindness

The central thematic thrust of Saunders’s speech is the importance of love and kindness as central tenets in the formation of a virtuous and fulfilling life. Saunders introduces this theme by ruminating on a personal anecdote from his childhood. When he was in the seventh grade, there was a new student who was generally ignored or teased by the other children. Saunders himself was not unkind to the student, but even as an adult, he regrets not taking a more active role in attempting to make the student to feel welcome. Saunders declares in his speech, “What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly” (7). With this anecdote and statement, Saunders establishes the active pursuit of kindness as the central focus of the wisdom...

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This section contains 1,301 words
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Buy the Congratulations, by the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness Study Guide
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