Tuesday, July 24, 2012


"Happiness if everywhere" by ilovedoodle

Today, I found myself listening to "Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)" excessively on repeat.  It is likely one of my favorite songs/spoken word pieces of all time.  I was 'commencing' from 8th grade into high school the year the song hit the airwaves (1999/2000, for those who don't remember), and it connected with me then on a deep level that now, as an woman at the tail-end of her 20's, I'm only just beginning to understand:  the need to possess foresight into an uncertain and potentially perilious adult life -- and actually live the advice given in order to find happiness, rather than risk one day looking back and lamenting the time lost.

This also led me to a similarly inclined poem, to which many have compared Mary Schmich's "Wear Sunscreen" article due to its tone, theme, and style ... It's lovely, and I'm surprised I haven't come across it over the 13 years I've been a fan of Luhrmann's song and Schmich's column:
Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

- Max Ehrmann

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