Saturday 22 May 2010

offering something that I enjoyed and still enjoy

This is a speech written by Mary Schmich and published in the Chicago Tribune as a column in 1987. But this was definitely made popular by Baz Luhrmann who made it into a song titled Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen in 1998. I loved and enjoyed this and everytime I go back to it, I come back with something. Hope you like the lyrics as well. 
Dedicated to all the lovely readers who stop to meander in the Meanderings.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99

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've 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 are 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 everyday 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 I 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.
Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurtin, but I've been waitin' to be there for you
And I'll be there just helping you out whenever I can
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 and 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 elders.
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 you're 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 it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen
Brother and sister together we'll make it through
Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurtin, but I've been waitin' to be there for you
And I'll be there just helping you out whenever I can
Everybody's free oh yeah
Everybody's free oh yeah


  1. Oh, thank you for posting this, it was a delight to read it again. I lived in the US when Baz Luhrmann had a hit with this and it did climb the charts, receiving constant airplay. Thus, I think it was in 1998 and not in 1988.;))
    I have also heard the speech and it was magnificent, so much truth conveyed so beautifully.;)
    Have a lovely weekend dear Susan,

  2. Susan

    That is wonderful and so true, be sure to make a copy and keep it in one of your journals (I imagine you already have) pull it out every now and again, it will make you smile, just as it did for me.

    Hope you are keeping well. I am finally getting around to catching up with everyone, glad to see you are still at to read some more of your posts...


  3. Now, that's a really nice speech. I guess it is important for those who are stressed out due to the highly "competitive" world around them. Most of the time, it is parents or peers who create an illusion of do or die situation for the people.

  4. Oh! I remember this back from my teen years... I loved it then and I love it now.... thanks for tickling old memories...
    Love ya..

  5. So much good advice, here. If only we could follow it all... life would be... life would be what? I don't know. We fall down when we make mistakes, we get hurt, and sometimes we are left with the scars forever. But, we grow. Still, that advice... if only I could follow it... though I try to follow a bit of it.

    Thanks for sharing, Susan. It was a delight to read.


  6. OBOY! Susan, this touches on everything...EVERYTHING! What sound advice for living, all the way through--reminds me of song:

    I'll be around to pick up the pieces
    When somebody breaks your heart...."

    Maybe instead of sunscreen, I should just stay out of the sun--that's some advice I had not counted on.
    Thanks, Girl.

  7. Susan thanks for sharing such wise words,
    really helped in looking inwards
    if only we can follow at least one thirds
    we can be haapy like the birds.

    Thanks for sharing. Very true. Timeless piece of advice

  8. I'll take it with me today, to read it once and again. This is so wise. And wise of you to have chosen it for us to read.
    Thank YOU!
    Hugs and peace and JOY!

  9. Ha! this was one of my favourite songs in school. Used to listen to it every morning when I was getting ready.

  10. Zuzana:

    You are right. It's 1998 and I have corrected it. Those were MTV days for us and even though I could not grasp it then, I liked it.
    The weekend is lovely so far dear Zuzana.


    Oh yes! This speech/song is just nice to hear over and over. Glad that you are having the time now :)

  11. Vinay:

    Welcome after a brief gap :)Very true. The song comes as a relief after the 'stress' sessions of competition, bhashans, etc.


    I echo your sentiments. Memories are a glue between us and we apply it the thickest :)

  12. Nevine:

    More than advice, the speech has a nice feel-good factor about it. You know the happy happy feeling? I get that when I read this every time. Probably the reiteration of imperfections in this speech makes it nicer for me :)

    Ah, Nevine, just enjoy it. Forget about following.

    Hope the week ahead is lovely for you and your family :)


    Yes it does touch on everything. I think the addition of 'sunscreen' is something Luhrmann added for some 'Luhrmann Effect.'

  13. Govind:

    It's a nice speech/song. We can go back to it at any point of our life. How do you know that birds are happy? Perception!!! may be the birds think the same of us :)


    Sweetest. Somehow when I had Tiramisu the other day, I thought a lot about you.
    Take it and paste it in your mirror. Your son will enjoy it as well :)
    Hugs back to you.
    Joy always :)


    Thanks for coming by. Honoured by your visit here. Do you listen to it now? Maybe sometimes.

    Joy always.

  14. never heard this but it's all soooo true...take gentle care....

  15. Dear Sarah:

    Been a long time. Hope you are well and happy.

    Blessings and joy always.

  16. By god Susan, u have been posting so much while I was gone:) I enjoy the Sunscreen speech too.. we had this read as a farewell address to all our juniors and profs on our yes Farewell u guessed right :):)

  17. Thanks for sharing such a wise piece of advice.
    I like it all and agree to everything said in it, but there are two things I'll always bear in mind:
    1. 'Don't put up with people who are reckless with your heart'
    2. 'Enjoy your body, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own'

    Have a blessed week!

  18. hey! Susan :)
    Missed so much here on the meanderings...
    Yes, this song acts as THE antidote for my stressed and fretted nerves...and I did not know that it had been originally written by Mary Schmich! I always thought it was Mr Bazz Luhrmann who had composed it! Thank you for sharing :)
    Hope your stay in Ireland continues to be a great one with new and lovely experiences...
    Wishing you endless happy moments...
    Take care
    Love and warmest regards,

  19. I love the message in this post, Susan. What great advice for living fully and completely. It is a daily wish of mine to seize every moment and live it to its utmost beauty. And live it in love.

  20. oh, what a neat post, susan!! things we should all remember! hope your week is treating you well - we've a 3day weekend coming up here - and my little going-to-be 4 year old grandson's birthday party is this weekend too - i'll save you a piece of cake!!!

  21. AH! I am quite glad that you enjoyed and savoured the post.

    "Advice is a form of nostalgia . . ." says the song. Probably the lyrics was quite nostalgic in different ways for all you lovely people.

    Don't forget to check out the song as well. Nice one!

    Just a few more days here and we fly out of Erin's shores.

    Will be in India on the 4th of June. A lovely trip, indeed!!!

    Joy and peace always :)



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