Paul Graham’s Mean People Fail:

It struck me recently how few of the most successful people I know are mean. There are exceptions, but remarkably few.

The essay reminded me of George Saunders’ convocation speech I’ve been meaning to post for ages (expanded on in Congratulations, by the way, I believe). Since it’s also his birthday today, I figured now was as good a time as any to do so:

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

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.