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Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts…
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Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness (Original 2014; 2014. Auflage)

von George Saunders (Autor)

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3091666,855 (3.84)8
Drawing on his well-received convocation address at Syracuse University, one of today's most influential and original writers shows how to lead a kinder, more fulfilling life.
Mitglied:potenza
Titel:Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness
Autoren:George Saunders (Autor)
Info:Random House (2014), Edition: Illustrated, 64 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:***1/2
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Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness von George Saunders (2014)

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Well, 21st century, we now officially have a replacement for Kurt Vonnegut, in the genius of George Saunders. I've loved him since I came across the jolt of Civilwarland in Bad Decline over a decade ago at my boyfriend's apartment -- and knew that I'd have to keep both the book and the boyfriend, not least because of the boyfriend's extraordinary good taste. Saunders, like Vonnegut, shows us the absurd and the ugly about ourselves as humans -- and then offers us exquisitely lovely, birdsong redemption, shows us the "better angels of our nature."

Love love love. ( )
  FinallyJones | Nov 17, 2021 |
Great essay (commencement address) on the importance of kindness. According to Saunders, it's the best way to combat regrets. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
"Fate le cose che vi orientano verso i grandi interrogativi, ed evitate quelle che vi svalutano e vi rendono banali". Leggetelo, questo libretto. ( )
  carben | Mar 24, 2020 |
Simple, sweet, and very very short.

The ebook has this weird two-page-chapter thing going on, where one page of every chapter is a starfield image. I'm sure in the print version it was lovely, but in the ebook it was kind of clunky. I knocked off a star for this presentation issue.

"Err on the side of kindness" is in general very good advice.

However, if you have become accustomed to people mistreating each other as a matter of course, and the mistreaters feeling entitled to "kindness" in the form of eternal forgiveness without complaint or question, of allowing the mistreatment to continue, of pretending that it's not happening and everything is normal--then please, please, please: make sure you know what kindness is before you use this message as a justification to allow people to mistreat you for the rest of your life.

Those of you who have never had the opportunity to develop this kind of a perspective will undoubtedly find this take puzzling. How could anyone be confused by this? you may wonder. Believe me, when someone allows a person to treat them poorly forever without complaint, without leaving, they are phrasing it to themselves (as it has many times been phrased to them, trust me) as kindness. Or as love.

Kindness and love are not eternal acts of self-destructive Giving, tossed endlessly into an infinite black hole of Take, with only hurt escaping from the event horizon. That's Stockholm Syndrome. You don't need that. Find a person, a group, or a thing to use all that kindness and love on that is capable of appreciating it, or at least of improving in the acceptance of it. Children, for instance. People in hospitals. Neighbourhood parks. Book clubs. Fundraising drives. Not abusers.

Or to put it this way: Go find an online version of the Five Factor/OCEAN personality test. If you score very high on Agreeableness, maybe don't worry so much about adding more kindness to your life.

This highly personal and idiosyncratic caveat aside: yes, it's a lovely book, and a lovely idea, written well. More kindness is a good thing. ( )
  andrea_mcd | Mar 10, 2020 |
It was fine I guess. Makes me want to be more kind more often and I will try it but it probably won't take long to forget this book. It's far from memorable. ( )
  waltandmartha | Dec 3, 2019 |
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Drawing on his well-received convocation address at Syracuse University, one of today's most influential and original writers shows how to lead a kinder, more fulfilling life.

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