Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind.


For shame. I just read this column by my TechCrunch colleague Paul Carr, entitled “Dear Michael: An Open Letter From The Present About The Future Of Your Past”.

As with all Paul’s writing, worth a read or two. 

At the end of the blog post, Paul links to a 1997 column by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich. Odd, I think, until I started reading it. Entitled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”, here’s an excerpt:

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.

Wait a minute, I know those words from somewhere. Wasn’t that a song or something?

Yes, Robin, it was, and how could you not know that song (Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” – see video below) was based on a column? 

Whenever stuff like this happens, I kick myself for not knowing things like that, and then afterwards I feel really happy for having learned something new again (like I do every day, or at least try really hard to do).

Thank you, Paul. And Mary. And Baz.

Another excerpt from the column:

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.

Beautiful, strong words. Nice song. I was frickin’ 18 when this came out:


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