It is often said that coming close to death makes you appreciate life tenfold. Skydivers probably know this all too well.
Mary Schimch isn’t into extreme sports, but she understands the importance of getting an adrenaline rush every once in a while. As part of a lengthier writeup, she once said:
Do one thing every day that scares you.
This seemingly trivial remark is part of Mary Scmich’s famous 1997 essay generally referred to as “Wear Sunscreen.” Wrongfully attributed to author Kurt Vonnegut of MIT, Schmich’s article was originally published in the Chicago Tribune in 1997 as a hypothetical commencement speech.
The composition is mostly pieces of advice on how to live properly while avoiding life’s many traps, such as beauty magazines, hair products, or other people’s opinions. Although predominantly melancholic and indisputably profound, the text bears a humorous tone and uses colloquial language.
It was an instant hit when it originally came out, and it’s still consumed on a regular basis today, through the popular YouTube video “Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen” (embedded below).