George Saunders 'Kindness' Speech at Syracuse University Goes Viral

Author discusses regrets on not acting kind when it would have made a difference in his life.
2:54 | 05/26/14

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Transcript for George Saunders 'Kindness' Speech at Syracuse University Goes Viral
Coming up tex on our "Heat index." Graduation season and robin is getting in on the act in Dallas. Take a look. And you're feeling fearful, I want you to focus on the fight and not the fright. Words of empower. As always from our robin Roberts and there is one speech in recent years that has reachly touched a nerve shared by so many for its powerful message, as well. ABC's bianna golodryga has that story. ? Reporter: Sometimes commencement speeches are profound. Dare to love those who are different from you. Reporter: Often they're encouraging. I'm confident that you'll write a new and better chapter in American history. Reporter: And sometimes they're just plain silly. Do not pick your nose in public. Reporter: But sometimes the words resonate so strongly. As a goal in life you could do worse than try to be kinder. Reporter: As "The New York times" best-selling author George Saunders' graduation address from a year ago hitting a nerve with so many and going viral. It's now the subject of his latest book "Congratulations by the way" and it's helping kindness make a comeback. The idea of being kind and comparing it to other commencement speeches and so much of that tends to focus on this competitive world these graduates are entering. Why do you think your concept sort of stood out from that? Certain virtues like kindness like gentleness, compassion somehow got a downgrade to soft virtues, optional. You can be kind after you've won. And I think that's kind of wrong. Seventh grade this new kid joined our class. Reporter: The girl whose name you changed for anonymity sake. Her name is Ellen in your speech sm was mostly ignored, occasionally teased. Reporter: You talk about how you weren't a mean guy but you could have been nicer to her. What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Reporter: Saunders penned eight books and credits kindness in launching his writing career? My aunt let me live with them for a year so I went this and wrote six or seven hours a day and that's what meant the most to me in a time when life was kind of rolling over mere a little bit and feeling like nobody noticed, they noticed me and that was worth, you know, maybe everything. But as you do to the extent that you can err in the direction of kindness. Reporter: Kindness a degree we can all graduate with and share with lots of pomp and circumstance. For "Good morning America," bianna golodryga, ABC news, new York. And what a tremendous message because, you know, you get out into the world and think I got to compete and do my best. We forget the best you can do is be kind. The value of kind ins was downgraded. He did and we should continue. That was really nice.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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