On Reading Well
Karen Swallow Prior
Tenth of December
By George Saunders
Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
Chapter Eleven of Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well examines the virtue of Kindness with examples drawn from George Saunders’ Tenth of December.
As Karen wrote
The connection between kindness and kinship helps make sense of the reason for envy being the vice that opposes kindness. Aquinas calls envy “sorrow for another’s good.” Unless the relationship is marred by some dysfunction, it is natural for us to celebrate a family member’s happiness or success. When something good happens to someone in our family, it is like it has happened to us. We share in that good rather than envy it. To seek and celebrate the good for others is then to treat them as family in this way. This is what it means to be kind.