Vonnegut could hardly be accused of having a rosy worldview, but his best stories and essays were marked by profound compassion and a belief in the power of simple human kindness. My favorite of his books—one of my favorite novels by anyone, actually—God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, bears testament to the great beating heart at the center of Vonnegut's work.
"The arts are supposed to ideally make people like life better than they had before." To which I can only say, amen. And thanks, Kurt.