This week's Man Booker prize winner George Saunders delivered the convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013, and every word of it is as wise, gentle and thoughtful as you'd expect from the author of the short story "Tenth of December". I especially loved this part, and how it acknowledges our love of heroes is the first step to loving ourselves and then others.
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's advice to graduates, 2013