“Wear sunscreen.”

It’s a simple statement which begins the most simple resource of advice and wisdom that I have ever come across. First heard on the radio in my teens, and listened to since via Walkman, Discman, iPod, iTunes, YouTube, and now SoundCloud, The Sunscreen Song never seems to get old.

You’ve probably heard it and you either hate it or love it. Either way, here’s my list of the best pieces of advice it passes on:

  • Don’t worry about the future.
  • Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. 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 waste your time on jealousy.
  • Stretch.
  • Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.
  • Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.
  • Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good.
  • Respect your elders.
  • Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

If you’re interested, here’s the original column that inspired the song and some history of the song on Wikipedia.

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