book hack

Congratulations, by the way

George Saunders

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Congratulations, by the Way is a graduation speech written and delivered by George Saunders in which he humorously asks the new graduates to be kind at all costs.


Congratulations, by the way

Congratulations, by the way

by George Saunders


We're often so caught up in our own lives that we forget about the impact we can have on those around us. But overt and direct actions of kindness - be they words, food, a couch for the night, or a smile - are what tie humans together.

George Saunders is an active American author known for his short stories and essays, such as Pastoralia and In Persuasion Nation. Saunders' 2017 novel Lincoln in the Bardo won multiple international awards.

Congratulations, by the Way is a speech given at the 2013 Syracuse University graduation. Here, the author comically reminds the fresh graduates to be kind in their pursuits of success.

Favorite quote

As a goal in life you could do worse than try to be kinder.

- George Saunders

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