This quote made its way around work the other day. It now hangs on the wall where I can read it everyday. It is a beautiful image, the bright shining thing in each of us.
Do all the other things, the ambitious things–travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop)–but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality–your soul, if you will–is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.
–George Saunders, Convocation address, Syracuse University, Class of 2013