In 2013, celebrated author George Saunders delivered the convocation address at Syracuse University's commencement. Saunders's advice to the class of 2013 went viral after The New York Times reprinted his speech later that summer.
In his address, Saunders focused on the vital importance of being kind to others, noting: "What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness." Though he admitted the goal of acting kindly seems "facile," he emphasized that we must dedicate thought and effort to being kinder because "kindness, it turns out, is hard — it starts out all rainbows and puppy dogs, and expands to include... well, everything."
The speech has now been published in book form under the title Congratulations, By The Way: Some Thoughts On Kindness (Random House, $14.00). In the above video, released in conjunction with the book's publication, a poignant passage from Saunders' speech is brought to life with stirring music and scribbled illustrations drifting through a starry sky. Try to watch it without tearing up; we dare you.