I would not dare to give you advice (July 2016)

The stimulus for this session was the words of advice written by Mary Schmich in 1997.

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young“, commonly known by the title “Wear Sunscreen“,[1] is an essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech by columnist Mary Schmich, originally published in June 1997 in the Chicago Tribune.“

It was set to music by Baz Luhrmann in 1998 on his album Something for Everybody YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4reHCjPoUnA&index=6&list=RDdQwmt18QgUA

The words were printed out and handed out to the group and the YouTube clip was played. The context was “advice to be given to the young”; the question was “what advice do you wish that you had been given?”.

This led to an interesting discussion – the main points of which were added to a flip chart and then these points were reordered into the poem below.

On reflection, although it worked well, the clip was rather too long and I had to take back the printed lyrics early on since the group members were looking for answers in them, rather than from their own experience. Indeed, once this happened the conversation was much more personalised and open.


I would not dare to give you advice
Get to know your friends,
you get back the love you give.
Look after people,
you can only do this if you look after yourself,
Make sure your hearing aid works (even if you have a sore ear), get the doctor on to it.
You can’t start something then walk away:
Don’t “but” just do.
Even if you are not always on the same wavelength it does not matter,
Listen to what they say.
Be lucky.
Do your homework and don’t go to bed in a temper.
One thing always leads to another.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.