I was driving the kids to school the other day and the commencement speech titled “Wear Sunscreen” came on as a song. Turns on that wasn’t really a commencement address – a woman named Mary Schmidt wrote it in 1997 (probably to her younger self) and it was published in the Chicago Tribune and then later set to music by Baz Luhrmann. Each and every word is true – but I suppose when you are in your early 20′s, you don’t listen to it or pay any attention at all. My carpool in the back seat said in unison “ugh, what is this song?” and I’m in the front seat, glad I have my sunglasses on because it made me a little teary. Here is the YouTube video – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did or can use it at an upcoming graduation celebration:
Here’s the full speech in the Chicago Tribue.
A few of my favorite lines:
“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.”
“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.”
“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…whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.”
“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 be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”