Thursday 13: The First 13 Paragraph/Lines of the "Wear Sunscreen" Essay


I decided to feature the Sunscreen Speech, a.k.a. Wear Sunscreen essay by Mary Schmich when I saw a quote posted in Tumblr where the person attributed it to Baz Luhrmann. My hands itched to correct the person but it seemed rude. For the correct information on the essay, here’s a blurb from Wikipedia:

“Wear Sunscreen or the Sunscreen Speech are the common names of 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, but often erroneously attributed to a commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut. Both its subject and tone are similar to the 1927 poem "Desiderata". 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.

-          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, never mind. 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 bubble gum. 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.
 -          Sing.
 -          Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
 -          Floss.
 -          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.
 -          Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
 -          Stretch.
 -          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.

Wise advices she got there. Do you think I’ll get skin cancer since I don’t use sunscreen everyday? I only use it when I go to the beach or take a dip in the pool. As for the love letters… burned and thrown. What’s the use when the guy who wrote it turned out to be a snake? But let’s not reminisce old flames, instead let’s celebrate Thursday 13! What’s your list this week? For more Thursday 13, go here.


Joe Klein said...

I remember this and like it (although now they are finding that too much suncreen can make one vit D deficient and that we absorb like food 60% of what we put on our skin).

Are you wanting to use my poem Exclamation Kiss to post? You're free to do that if you want, just give credit. I wasn't sure what you were asking.

I am Harriet said...

Loved your t-13.

Have a great Thursday!

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