“To Kurt Vonnegut, the only possible redemption for the madness and apparent meaninglessness of existence was human kindness. The title character in his 1965 novel, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, summed up his philosophy: “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” — from the N.Y. Times obit for Vonnegut, who died on Wednesday in Manhattan.