Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wear Sunscreen

I’ll give you three good reasons to read this blog post. First, read it if you want to read/hear something beautiful. Second, read it if you want to feel good about life. And finally, read it if you want to know why this song which my best bud shared with me (who I will henceforth refer to as Chee) makes me cry when I listen to it.

‘Wear Sunscreen’ is an essay titled "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune as a column in 1997.  In her introduction to the column, she described it as the commencement speech she would give if she were asked to give one. The most popular and well-known form of the essay is the successful music single "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)", released in 1998, by Baz Luhrmann.

EVERY time I listen to it, I smile, I sigh, I dream, I spurt and I just feel happy. Such simple lines, and yet so powerful, moving and inspiring. The song conversion is simply beautiful. You have to listen to it. Like seriously!  

Here’s how it goes. Read it and savour it. And then watch the video I posted.


Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ‘97,

Wear Sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas 
the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now. 

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand 
the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how 
much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You’re not as fat as you imagine. 

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying 
is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. 
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your 
worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. 

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who 
are reckless with yours. 


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.
The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. 

Remember the compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing
this, tell me how. 

Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements. 


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with
their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 year olds know still don’t. 

Get plenty of calcium. 

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. 

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, 
maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken
on your 75th wedding anniversary.

What ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. 

Enjoy your body.
Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it.
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.. 

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. 

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. 

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. 

Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good. 

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. 

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get,
the more you need the people you knew when you were young. 

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. 


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, 
you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were 
young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their 

Respect your elders. 

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out. 

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time its 40, it will look 85. 

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. 
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past  from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth. 

But trust me on the sunscreen.”


  1. Yes, I know! I'm so glad you guys understand how amazing this is!

  2. Thanks for sharing this with all of us! So simple, yet so damn meaningful.

    Can relate to it, as it perfectly sums up my outlook towards life too.

  3. Incredible..where do u get this great stuff from! :)...Share the source!

  4. Manu, exaaaaactly! And man, you DO have a good outlook towards life.

    Chetna, I've mentioned the source in the beginning! Most of the good stuff has the same source! :P

  5. Astha - the problem is, my outlook may be good...but having implementing issues. lol

    But reading/hearing this surely makes you feel good about life. Loved the part about your parents, family, siblings, friends n travel...but I cant you know that ;)


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