Sunscreen and Life -- Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

Sunscreen and Life -- Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

Post by John Enrig » Wed, 06 Aug 1997 04:00:00


: Here is Kurt Vonnegut's 1997 MIT Commencement address.

It's very funny but it's not actually Vonnegut.  It's by a Chicago Tribune
columnist, and she wrote it as a column - not really delivered as a
commencement address at any real college.

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Sunscreen and Life -- Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

Post by TGCarls » Wed, 06 Aug 1997 04:00:00

Here is Kurt Vonnegut's 1997 MIT Commencement address.
I think at least half of it applies to triathlon.
I am, of course, not sure, but the parts that don't apply may be better.
Or not.
Please ignore this post at your peril.
Or as you please. .

Timothy Carlson

Kurt Vonnegut's commencement address at MIT,
1997.

 Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:
 ..
 Wear sunscreen.

...
TRI-RELATED:  If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen
 would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been
 proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no
 basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I
 will dispense this advice now.
 ..
 Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind.
 You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth
 until they've faded. But trust me, 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. TRI-RELATED: You are not as fat as you imagine.
 ..
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that
 worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by
 chewing bubble gum. TRI-RELATED: The real troubles in your life are apt
to be
 things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that
 blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday (LIKE A CAR) .
 ..
TRI-RELATED:  Do one thing every day that scares you.
 ..
 Sing.
 ..
 Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up
 with people who are reckless with yours.
...
 Floss.
 ..
TRI-RELATED: Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're
ahead,  sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end,
 it's only with yourself.
 ..
 RST-RELATED: Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If
 you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
 ..
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank  statements.
 ..
 TRI-RELATED: Stretch.
 ..

TRI-RELATED: Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do
with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know
 at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the
 most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
 ..
TRI-RELATED Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss
them when they're gone.
 ..
 Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have
 children,maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe
you'll  dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
 Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate
 yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody
 else's.
 ..
TRI-RELATED: Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid
 of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest
 instrument you'll ever own.
 ..

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
 ..
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
 ..
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel  ugly.
 ..
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be
 gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link
 to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in
 the future.
 ..
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious
 few you should hold on. TRI-RELATED Work hard to bridge the gaps --
in  geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need
the people who knew you when you were young.
 ..
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you
 hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes
 you soft. Travel.
 ..
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise.
Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do,
 you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable,
 politicians were noble, and children respected their  elders.
 ..
 Respect your elders.
 ..
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a
 trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never
 know when either one might run out.  ..

TRI-RELATED RE CHLORINE: Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time
you're 40  it will look 85.
 ..
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is  a way of fishing the past
from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and
recycling it for more than it's  worth.
 ..
But trust me on the sunscreen.

END