Hello all… As you know, I've played Mr. Know It All all year long in
this column. I want to put an end to this for now, by sharing a text
written by Mary Schmich in her column in the Chicago Tribune in 1997.
It's the only advice I've ever liked in all my life, and I hope you like
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
I will dispense this
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not
understand the power and the 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 bubble gum.
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 compliments you receive.
Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what 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
Whatever 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 of
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 your living room. Read
the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty
magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Understand that friends come and go, But with a precious few you should
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will
philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fanatisize
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.
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.
--Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune,
June 1, 1997
Ýsmail O. Postalcýođlu (POLS/II)