In June 1997, Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich wrote an essay titled ‘Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’ also known as “Everyone is free (to wear sunscreen).’ She dispenses advice for the upcoming graduating class including ‘If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.’ It is well thought out and has practical advice for living. Singer-songwriter Baz Luhrmann did a musical version that I listened to incessantly before I graduated from Bethel’s seminary. I intend to offer my own POV on this.
As most of you know, I turned 30 this week. I turned 30 on the second most boring day of the week, Wednesday (Tuesday is the first). I got to thinking about what advice I would give. Now being a Millennial (though I prefer the term Gen Y), my generation can stink at times. That being said, sunscreen was on my mind this week and I want to share some simple advice that I picked up from others through the years. I will dispense this advice now.
Read the Bible. It has some of the most inspiring stories in the world of people facing the worst kind of scenarios, but hope always has a habit of winning. It’s one of the key reasons I’m a Christian. Pick one scripture to be your banner for that year and run with it. It will change each year (sometimes each season), but that is okay. God will help you find one. Just pray and do that everyday.
Wish everyone you can a ‘happy birthday.’ It is worth it to see their smiles, knowing that someone remembered and they are not alone as time passes with them. Then on your birthday, they will wish you a happy birthday and you will not be celebrating your big day alone either.
If you’re a guy who has a crush on a girl, tell her “she’s beautiful.” If you’re a girl who has a crush on a guy, tell him “he’s handsome.” Despite what some elitists say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it is always good to know that someone out there notices the beauty in you. If someone does likes you, but you don’t return those feelings, don’t lead them on. You’ll just hurt them and then you will be hurt.
Play a sport. You don’t have to play it forever, but a sport teaches you the value of talent, teamwork, and skill. If you truly find this idea repugnant, then join the chess club, debate team, or soccer (I said it and I’m not taking it back).
If a store employee is rude to you, smile. They are probably having a bad day and sometimes a simple smile can turn their day around.
Take your time. Rushing only leads to tripping and falling down. Now I’m not talking about while you’re on the job, but just in life. Life comes at you ninety miles an hour, so it is better to be going forward with a march instead of a sprint.
Now there are some outliers, but get married. Find someone you can share your life with who loves you. Tell that person you love them at least once a day. In fact, end every phone call with those three simple words. Do NOT hang up on your spouse, especially if it’s the heat of an argument. Always say ‘thank you’ for the most mundane tasks. Why? It shows you don’t take them for granted.
Give big tips.
Always be willing to grow. Now, some people mistake growing for changing who you are. That happens sometimes, but no. Growing enhances who you are. It comes with experience, knowledge, and wisdom. As for change, be open to it. When you figure that out, let me know.
Don’t watch award ceremonies for the entertainment industry. The movie or song that should have won rarely does and often the ones that did you’ve never heard of. Just go to the movie you want to see or listen to the song you want. Go to these things looking to be entertained and if it does, good, it is another happy moment. If a movie or song moves your heart, then that is great. Hold on to that and put it on repeat.
Be kind to your family and pay them lots of sincere compliments. Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, and Grandparents. Be with them when they’re desperate and help them whenever you can. If you are reliable to your family, they can be reliable. Don’t be afraid to reminisce. You’ll want those memories. The good ones will make you smile, the bad ones will be a lesson. Remember that.
Don’t be a jerk. People only tolerate rich jerks and when the money runs out, that jerk is by himself or herself. Be kind to people and you will not be alone.
Read all the books you can. You will find wisdom in the old, fun in the new, and once you get into a rut in with what you read, change it up whether author or genre. The mix will make you smarter.
Finally, remember what I said about the Bible. Faith will get you through the toughest of days. Life isn’t fair and anyone who tells you otherwise is up-selling you. That’s why you need faith and I chose my faith in Jesus Christ.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. While you are at it, check out book announcement for my upcoming novel. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
While I hope folks gleam something from it, it is a parody.