John Steinbeck Knew What It Took for the World to be a Kinder, Gentler Place

I have no idea how I’ve gotten to my age without ever having read Of Mice and Men. But today I put an end that gap in my literary education, and so far, so good.

The beginning of the book features an essay on Steinbeck by Susan Shillinglaw, who at the time was a professor of English and the director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University.

As part of giving a detailed overview of Steinbeck and his work; Shillinglaw shared these words from Steinbeck back in 1938:

In every bit of honest writing in the world, there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love.

Does it get any simpler than that?

We all know the world desperately needs more kindness and less hate.

And Steinbeck offered us a solution over 80 years ago.

Maybe it’s time we took notice…

*image from ThoughtCo

34 thoughts on “John Steinbeck Knew What It Took for the World to be a Kinder, Gentler Place

      1. I can tell you that my friend that love has no boundaries like our land has. It embraces all whether you be white or black, whether you be african, Asian or European or from other parts of world. The boundaries of hate has been created by man himself. The lines of Steinbeck are the symbol and feeling of humanity which is everywhere in the hearts of people. All we need to do is that we have to realise and own it. โ™ฅ๏ธโ™ฅ๏ธ

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  1. Isn’t it amazing when these words from long ago never lose their value? If anything, they are even more needed today in an era when people feel so free to insult one another like it’s nothing.

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  2. I agree with, Pete you only have to go online or read the papers and there is so much hate and insults in the comments it needs to stop and now…Wise words from John Steinbeck ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. A great reading selection, Jim! You won’t be disappointed. It does appear our biggest problem as a society is the lack of understanding, followed closely by its little brother, apathy.

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  4. don’t feel bad jim, i only read it a couple of years ago, myself. (that is not to say that it wasn’t ‘required reading’ way back in my school career, but i clearly had glossed over it.) when i read it, i loved it and it’s message, and i love the quote from j.s., so true)

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